Friday, August 9, 2013

Op HUSKY 2013 Jul 13 Agira



Agira

The town of Agira and Nissoria was where Sherry was wounded by a German 88 and where the Commanding Officer Lt Col Ralph Crowe was killed on 24 July 1943.  As you can see from the picture of the Agira Canadian War Cemetery there are many Canadians buried there.

By Susan Atkinson

Operation Husky 2013
July 13, 2013
Today we decided that we would show Mary Lou and Patty the area where their father was critically injured on July 24, 2013, as well as the Agira Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.  After a leisurely breakfast, we departed the B&B at about 10:45 am for the drive north.

 Road leading to Agira

Our GPS had been programmed with the latitude and longitude of the cemetery, and she took us right to the entrance, without using any impassable roads!  We got there about noon, and spent an emotional hour and a half walking about, finding graves of Sherry's friends and other members of The Regiment.  Sherry was able to stop at many of the graves and explain to Patty and Mary Lou exactly what happened to many of these men.  He explained the battles, the strategies, and the consequences.  It was very emotional for him, and also for them to watch and learn from their dad as he recalled history.

 Agira Canadian War Cemetery

As we were leaving the cemetery, a young couple from Toronto pulled in. The husband explained he is a history buff, and always tries to visit as many of the war cemeteries as he can.  They enjoyed meeting Sherry, and thanked him for his service.

 Canadian graves in Agira

Then we climbed into the centre of the old historic part of the town of Agira.  The municipality of Agira has 9,004 inhabitants. It covers 163.11 km², and is 688 metres (2257 feet) above sea-level.  We parked in a small square in front of one of the old churches.  We were looking for lunch, but soon discovered that it was siesta time.  Hardly anything was open except a pasticceria (bakery), bar and gelato shop.  So we had a baked delicacy and gelato for lunch, and Sherry and Mary Lou enjoyed a cold beer.  While seated at an outdoor table, we were approached by a police man who stopped to ticket an illegally parked car.  He came over to us, looked at Sherry and said "Captain?"  It turns out that he had been in Pachino on July 10th, in uniform, and he recognized Sherry.  Well, this led to a lot of discussion in rapid Italian and lots of hand shakes, back slapping and congratulations.  When we finally dragged him away from his adoring fans, we headed towards Nissoria, where he was actually wounded.  Following quite a bit of searching around, we came to the conclusion that the exact location was probably now under new construction, so we had to settle for being in the general area.

We finally headed for home, and arrived here just about 5 pm.  Sherry and I went for a lovely swim, while Patty and Mary Lou headed out to try to do some shopping.  Unfortunately it was after 5 on a Saturday evening, and they could find nothing worthwhile.  They returned to Villa Trigona, and we all agreed to just stay here for dinner again tonight.  We will be off again tomorrow to a ceremony in Vizzini, and then following lunch we will see what we can find to do.  We will have the receptionist here make a reservation for us at Al Folgher which is apparently a really nice restaurant, a little pricey, but very good.

3 comments:

  1. My father in law was there last week for the anniversary of Canadian troops invading Sicily, he told me about the story about the CO and his 2IC being killed by and 88 emplacement which also had Pak40's. He also brought back some shrapnel from the Canadian 25pdrs which took out the guns.He brought back a booklet with maps of the operation and troop movements.

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  2. @stormtrooper sounds awesome, I would love to see some of the different products that were produced to help everyone follow the flow of the operation.

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