Our next battle was the Vietri Defile. This commenced on the 23rd and during this period a great deal of fighting was done. Towards dusk three enemy tanks supported by a small number of infantry were seen to be coming along the road near the foot of the La Crocella spur. The troops were scattered by small arms fire and the tanks driven off by shelling from the Mediums. Next day A Coy moved to Corpo di Cava and here, during the afternoon, BHQ was established. It soon became apparent that the enemy had withdrawn completely from the area and in consequence we enjoyed a few days rest.

On October 6th we moved by transport through Naples, cheering crowds, and showers of apples! Qualiano was the destination and here the Coys were dispersed in and around the village. Later, we marched to Villa Literno where we supplied patrols in front of the Leicesters. and Foresters and up to the River Volturno. D Coy set off to establish themselves in Castel Volturno, but bumped a strong German patrol whilst crossing a canal; a battle ensued during which both sides suffered casualties. However, the position was held, at the cost of 40 killed wounded and missing and casualties would have been even higher had it not been for the brave action of Captain Whitehead who rescued many chaps from the canal only to lose his own life in so doing.

From this area we moved forward, and the River Volturno was crossed, on the night of Oct 13/14th with A and C Coys first across. Opposition generally was slight and the first objective was gained. Owing to MMGs firing on our right flank only C Coy were able to gain the second objective. During this phase Lt Collins captured three officers three WO's and 11 OR's and thus cleared up the troublesome flank. The Leicesters and Foresters on either side of us were fiercely counter-attacked and forced to withdraw back across the river, suffering heavy casualties. B Coy moved up to the Canal bank and patrols were sent out to contact our flank supports--the 2/4th KOYLI and 5th Hampshires. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to cross the canal at this point but it proved too deep.

46 Recce Group relieved us from these positions and we moved back to Casaluce, there to rest until the 26th Oct when we took over from the Rifle Brigade. The River Teano was crossed on the night of the 28th, opposition was slight but some casualties were caused by the booby traps that littered the area. On the following night C Coy pushed forward in the darkness, A Coy passed through to take the Angelo feature but met heavy opposition. The presence of tanks in our area also drew considerable 88 mm fire. A Coy finally took over from C Coy at Casale.

At the beginning of November, A Coy amalgamated with C and B with D Coy, the first named now moving to some high ground from whence the latter passed through them and were able to take up positions just short of Giusti. Here we were relieved by the Leicesters and moved back to S. Croce where B Echelon joined us. On the 5th the first organised leave parties to Naples commenced, this was followed by a large party of four officers and 116 OR's going to the Divisional Rest Camp at Cancello for three clear days.

Around the 12th a Battalion exercise took place which re-enacted the River Teano crossing. (Moans, groans and blue atmosphere prevailed!) Carinola was left behind on the 17th and we journeyed to Cessa, Coys effected daylight reliefs of the 6th Lincs and 2/4th KOYLI in the area of Laura. Much patrolling


J Wintershausen MM September 1943

This photograph of L/Sgt John Wintershausen MM of the Pioneer Platoon, 16 DLI has ‘Corpo di Carva 23/9/43’ written on the reverse. L/Sgt Wintershausen was awarded the MM for his actions at Salerno on 17/9/43. To read his citation click here. For more photographs of John Winterhausen, click on the image. Photograph courtesy of Paul Wintershausen.

The photograph below (click on the image for the full picture), of Lt Russell Collins is enlarged from the 1944 16 DLI Officer’s photo. Lt Collins was awarded the Miltary Cross for the action described at left. To read his MC citation click here.
R Collins