After landing on the Anzio beachead in January 1944 the port of Anzio was too shallow to accept the supply ships which brought all supplies for the troops from Naples. During late February the whole of the beachead came under fire from a 210mm railway gun called 'Leopold' but was soon to be nicknamed 'Anzio Anne'. The main target for this gun was the town of Anzio and the streets very soon became impassible with rubble,
I was a Anti-tank gun carrier driver and as soon as we had positioned our guns we were sent back to F echelon for labouring duties which consisted of being sent to to Anzio to clear the
streets of rubble so that the convoys of American Duks (amphibian trucks) could pass on their way to their dumps. The system was that these trucks would drive down the beach and into the bay where the Liberty ships were anchored and
be loaded by rope slings with food, ammo, water
and anything else that was required by the fighting units.
On one occasion the town had a very bad series of
shelling by 'Anne' and our job was to clear the route quickly. The convoys of Duks driven by black American drivers who were hell bent on getting the hell out of it would charge up the beach and into the town like men possessed and would swing around the corner at such a speed they would lose some of their load. About four cases fell off one truck which we picked up and took with us back to camp. Upon opening my case lo and behold it contained a dozen bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky, my mate got four 7lb tins of fruit cocktail and two other cases contained tins of Canadian streaky bacon.I sent two bottles of whisky to the Officers dug-out and two to the sgts dug-out the rest was soon put to good use! the fruit cocktail and bacon went to our cook-house and eversince I have been known as 'Whisky Heaney' So you see they really did' Fall off the back of a lorry.
Brian Heaney, 2ndBn Sherwood Foresters