Your combat assignment has come down from regimental headquarters. The 370th Combat Team is ordered to join Combat Command A of the 1st Armored Division (“Old Ironsides”). You break camp and embark for Cenaia, 120 miles north and just behind the Arno River Line.
The convoy traveled at night, and blackout lights were used. You rode in one of the army trucks, sitting about eight men to the side. Your drivers were in the Quartermaster Corps and were Negro soldiers. But as this journey there was a great deal of difference in the way soldiers gripped their weapons, and the tense feeling in your stomach muscles told you that something was unusual. As darkness settled over you, everyone was very anxious that the leading vehicle take the right direction. The column finally halted, and the call for blackout was passed along the line. In the cool blackness that followed, you could hear for the first time the dull, distant thud of artillery. An involuntary shudder shook many a spine.
The convoy continued until it negotiated several steep hills and wound up in a thick grove of trees. In the darkness it was difficult to determine the nature of your location, but each company was given an area in which to sleep. The order was to pitch no tents but instead to dig trenches. The last part of that order needed no repetition because every man was soon earnestly at work. You wrapped your bodies in blankets and used tour helmets as pillows. You were so tired that comfort did not matter.