Fred Remembers~Part 4

16 Sep

Judy Wills


As I recall, sometime, probably in the late Spring or early Summer of 1947, we moved from our quarters in Caserta up to the area near Pisa, Italy.


June 1970 – Judy and the Leaning Tower

There was a town up there called either Viareggio or Livorno. It was near camp Darby, which Judy and I have visited. We were there for about two weeks, and then we drove on over to Trieste.

Trieste at the time was a U.S. protectorate – actually a U.S. and British protectorate. It was a free territory administered by the U.S. and British. As I recall, it was four miles wide and 19 miles long from North to South and had about 1,000 U.S. troops and another 700 British troops there. The overall name was the Trieste United States Troops, which was abbreviated TRUST. I believe it stayed as a free territory until 1956, when it was finally divided up between Italy, which got the city and the port, and the rest went to Yugoslavia.

One of the nice things we enjoyed to do for sort-of-a-vacation time while we lived in Trieste, was to drive up into the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy, to the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which is where they had the 1956 Olympics, which, of course was some years after we were there.


1948 – Dolomites – Cortina – Tofane
From Charles Wills’ albums


The unit had a Special Forces hotel there which was right on a golf course, with a little lake, and we used to go up there both in the summer for a summer resort, and in the winter time and do some skiing. It was a beautiful resort area, and we enjoyed it.

Some good memory that I have about living in Trieste was that a little bit north of town, outside the city limits was a castle called Miramare, which is where the U.S. had some of their administrative offices that may have been their headquarters for a while for the U.S. Forces in it. It was left over from Emperor Maximilian, and it was right on the coast, which was real rocky there.


Trieste – via Carducci #2 – where the Wills lived in the 1940’s after WW2
They lived in the “Mezzanine” – just under the arches her




I remember the Corps of Engineers manufactured a beach – they brought in some sand from some place and had a little beach area there where people could get a little sun tan on the beach. But the basic swimming area there was really rocky, however it was a fairly sharp drop-off. You could go out 20 or 30 feet and it was already 10 or 15 feet deep.


1948 – June – Miramare Castle gardens and beach, Trieste, Italy
From Charles Wills’ albums


I remember there was a large rock, roughly 20-foot square, that we could swim out to, and then jump off that into the water. They eventually put up about a 10×10-foot raft out there that was anchored so that we had another thing we could jump onto and off of.


1948 – Miramare Castle pier – The Wills family

I remember swimming down probably 8 or 10 feet, maybe deeper, and swimming through the grass, and noticing the fish. I was able to do this with my eyes open, even though I didn’t have a mask or goggles on. I think the water was not as salty as the ocean.

~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.

3 Responses to “Fred Remembers~Part 4”

  1. Onisha Ellis September 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

    My dad spent a good bit of time in Italy during the war. I like to imagine Fred’s family may have walked some of the same places he did. Dad was an airplane mechanic.


  2. divoran09 September 17, 2018 at 10:50 am #

    Fred has a good memory


    • ludyja September 17, 2018 at 10:55 am #

      Yes he does. It is good to get all this down, so his daughters and grands will have the memories. Wish I had gotten more from Mom and Dad. Now I just have to go with MY memories – and Bills – to what we remember about them.


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