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  5th Army Detach.  

In response to recommendation of Capt Formichelli, CO of CAYUGA, the CHOCTAW mission was deployed to extend OG contact with units of the COMMANDO UNICO (CU) of Parma. For full appreciation of the total OG work in that area see the separate CAYUGA mission report which is basic to this report.

In anticipation of enemy withdrawal from the area, prepare to harass the enemy lines of communication, especially Route 62 below Pontremoli, Route 9 and other mountain routes they may use.

Sabotage enemy motor transport, gasoline dumps and construction dumps.

Conduct anti-scorch operations to prevent enemy demolition of roads and bridges, and attempt to safeguard public utilities.

After enemy withdrawal be prepared to assist Fifteenth Army Group with special operations in support of their maintenance of civil order.

1100 hours, 2 April 1945 the sixteen member CHOCTAW section, led by Capt Benedetto, departed Rosignano Airfield in two C-47's arriving over drop zone (DZ) NEW VOICE to a reception arranged by the CAYUGA mission. Though there was strong ground wind, all men landed safely. Most of the equipment was damaged beyond use because of faulty container parachute openings. Section was taken to the CAYUGA Mission headquarters near Bardi where they spent the rest of the day going over their equipment, when it was discovered that the communications equipment had not been included. That night they were split into small groups for sleeping accomodations arranged by CAYUGA in nearby civilian houses.

3 April - Capt Formichelli, leader of CAYUGA, provided briefings on the partisan units he was assigning to CHOCTAW and gave general orientation of the Parma zone in which the Section would be working. The partisan units to which CHOCTAW would assume responsibility were:
2nd Beretta Brigade of CISA Division - 443 men
3rd Beretta Brigade - of CISA Division - 291 men
31st Capelli Brigade - of VAL CENO Division - 420 men

With mules carrying the equipment and supplies, Section walked to Alberetto where they were met by Gino Beretto, leader of the partisan 2nd Beretta Brigade. With partisan help arrangments were then made for sleeping accomodations in local civilian housing.

4 - 6 April - Capt Benedetto divided the Section into two teams with Capt Sabatino leading one team to work with Val Cino Division. Reconnaisance was then made of all CHOCTAW assigned brigades, and their areas of operation. To make medical help available to as many brigades as possible, Medical Tech S/Sgt Rovello was assigned to the hospital in Alberetto and Medical Tech T/5 LaRosa to the hospital in Contile.

Beginning 8 April when the "All Out" order was received, the Section received air drops of supplies which had been arranged earlier by Base Hq and CAYUGA. A total of four drops were received. The arms, ammo, medical and other supplies were distributed from the DZ with mule and oxen teams transporting to the brigades. Section members then gave instructions in the use and care of the American and British weapons to those partisans who had not received earlier OG training. Soon thereafter Section members began participation with the partisans in operations against the enemy. Those operations were:

10 April - 2nd Brigade of Cisa Division attacked the town of Casa Corvi.

10 April - 3rd Brigade of Cisa Division sabotaged a railroad bridge between Borgo Val Toro and Pontremoli to prevent enemy, who occupied both towns, from using the rail line.

11 April - Three Brigades of Cisa Division repelled an enemy attack on the town of Grondola.

13 April - Cisa Division, ambushed an enemy truck convoy going north on Route 62.

15 April - Cisa Division hit an enemy mule train.

16 April - A platoon of the Val Ceno Division attacked a patrol near Selva Del Bercato capturing fifteen armed men.

17 April - Enemy launched attack to drive partisans into hills to clear Route 62 for their move north from Petremoli.
After 3 days of fighting, the Cisa Division drove the enemy back into Petremoli.

19 April - A reconnaisance unit of the 31st Capelli Division attacked a mule train moving north on Via Emilia - with 10 Germans killed and capture of 15 mules for partisan use.

21 April - In response to order from Base, road block was established on route 62 south of Petremoli by 1st Brigade of Cisa Division to prevent ememy reinforcments being sent there. On night of 23 April this road block was removed when word was received that Allied troops were then in Aulla, a town south of Pontremoli.

24 April - CHOCTAW'S first contact with Allied Forces was made when Capt Sabatino and his group met forward elements of the 34th Division at the town of Sasomaggiore. 26 April - OGs with the Val Ceno Division were overrun by Allied troops. 27 April - those with the CISA Division were overrun. From then until CHOCTAW returned to Base the OGs worked the partisan units in support of the Fifteenth Army Group in the attacks on Sassomaggiore and Pontremoli and a number of other operations to force enemy withdrawal. That included secretly arming trusted Italian workers at local plants for possible anti-scotch operations to preserve water, light and communications systems; in processing German and Fascist prisoners; in taking over local civil affairs by reinstalling a number of partisans to those positions they had previously held.

With mission complete CHOCTAW returned to base in three segments between 2 May and 10 May 1945.

Summary compiled from EOM reports from the National Archives submitted by Capts Benedetto, Sabatino and Formichelli at the conclusion of the missions.


Capt Rocco J. Benedetto
Capt Gerald V.Sabatino
S/Sgt John Rovello, Medic
Sgt Frank A. Pasquale
T/3 Frank J. LaRosa, Medic
T/4 Robert W. Huff, Radio Operator
Cpl William J. Federico
Cpl Joseph A Marciari
T/5 Vittorio Amoruso
T/5 Peter D. Pallescki
T/5 Pasquale Mongelluzzo
T/5 Sebastian Lastrina
T/5 Norbert R. Kazmierczak
T/5 Michael Chiappone
T/5 Frank L. Ballante
T/5 Zito --------

Also infiltrated with CHOCTAW were two Italian Partisans who assisted in maintaining contact with Capt Vanoncini of the PEEDEE mission and Capt Formichelli of CAYUGA.





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