Andriola Arrives in Normandy on D+3
Meets Sniper's Bullets on the Beach
Anthony ‘Andy’ Andriola, son of William Andriola, of 2 Ravine Avenue, visited Nutley, N.J. schools for years telling his stories of action and training In WWII.
He began at Fort Bragg, N.C., and endured eight campaigns with the Ninth Infantry across Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, England, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe to meet the Russians at the Elbe River.
He met some Nutley men in his travels.
“Charles O’Neill, now I don’t know if it was D-Day he got killed. As a matter of fact, I was the guy who put his tag on him.” Andriola recalls, nearly 60 years after landing on Normandy on D-Plus 3. “There was a lot of dead lying around, you know, and washing up and down the water.
“And then when his (O’Neill’s) body came home, I was one of the pall-bearers too. I was with the AMVETS, and we had a group of pall-bearers.”
When he came across Ted Cassera, the Nutley son was already dead.
On other Nutley sons, “Once in a while I run into them. Say if we were going to move (troops a similar distance) from Nutley to Jersey City, I’d see them in the convoy.”
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, “I was on a boat, I think it was D plus 3, these cranes took my truck off and put it on a barge and this truck was all full of medical supplies. And then it would go as far as we could go and we would have to drive the trucks through water.
“These trucks were all water-proofed. We would put wax all over the sparkplugs and stuff, then when we would get to the shore, the military police would direct us to the place to de-wax the vehicles.
“And while we were in this area de-waxing the vehicles, me and this fellow we could hear ‘zzt, zzt’ buzzes by us.
“We didn’t have any windshields because the windshields were taken off. We took notice that the canvas right behind the driver had little red marks. So I told this fella, “Somebody’s shootin’ at us, that’s what it is.
“So, this fellow here was a truck driver, and before the war he was a guard down South on a chain gang. He was a sharpshooter.
“So, the two of us are laying underneath the truck and he’s wetting his thumb, he’s holding it up to the wind. I said, ‘What are you doing? Get whoever’s shooting at us first!’ He says, ‘no, I got to see which way the wind’s blowing.’
“And he took one shot and he hit this person that was shooting at us. And down from the tree falls this person to the ground. So, I go over there and I see who it is. Whenever somebody was killed, you always have to tag them.
"So, I took my tag book out and I wrote down, it must have been a 13 or 14 year old girl, and on that tag I put down “this bitch was a sniper.” It was a German girl. They were shooting these wooden bullets."
As Division Medical Supply Sergeant, Andriola’s battle experience in North Africa and Sicily paid off for the Ninth Infantry during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star for “meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy during the period Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 1944, in the European Theater of Operations.
“Throughout this period, Sgt. Andriola performed his duties as Division Medical Supply Sergeant in an exceptionally meritorious manner. Displaying expert judgment and a capacity for hard work and long hours, he maintained an adequate stock of medical supplies and handled their distribution competently and efficiently.
“Through his excellent performance of duty, there has never been a serious shortage of supplies in his Division. Sgt. Andriola’s aggressive initiative and devotion to duty were a credit to himself and to the Armed Forces of the United States.”
Adapted from Nutley Sons Honor Roll - Remembering the Men Who Paid For Our Freedom by Anthony and Andrea Buccino.
Sources: The Nutley Sun; November 2003 interview, 2004 follow up.
Nutley Sons Honor
Roll - Remembering the Men Who Paid For Our Freedom
Biographies about the more than 130 Nutley sons who died while in service to our country. In the past century, 138 Nutley sons died while in service to our country. World War I took 17. World War II took 92 sons. The Korean War era took 12 sons. The Vietnam War took nine sons, and preserving the peace during the Cold War set its toll at eight Nutley sons. Here, in one source, beyond the names of the fallen, are their stories, and some veterans' stories.
Military history, biography
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''New Jersey's 'Garrison Keillor' '' **
** "... or something to that effect"
New Jersey author Anthony Buccino's stories of the 1960s, transit coverage and other writings earned four Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism awards. The Pushcart Prize-nominated writer has been called ' “New Jersey’s ‘Garrison Keillor” or something to that effect.’
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