Jan. 22, 1944: Storming Monte Cassino would take the Allies four attempts. The 34th Infantry with Company G’s Centerville boys were in the first attempt and it failed. The dreaded telegrams arrived in Centerville weeks later. Dead at Cassino: PFC Wilbur Lewis from Unionville; Corporal Harold Willits the head of music at Numa High School; U.S. Ranger Bill Swartz of Moulton; and Pvt. Jack Brown of Centerville. (452-453)
Jan. 22, 1944: Anzio was a nightmare. The beachhead was completely flat, crisscrossed with canals and drainage ditches just 30 miles from Rome. It seemed the perfect location for a surprise, rapid capture of that city. Eight days later, and solidly congested, the troops were trapped. Killed at Anzio: Pvt. Ralph Elder (Unionville); Pvt. Eugene Sales (Exline); Pvt. Loren Ross (Cincinnati); and three from Centerville: Pvt. Lester Brinegar; Pvt. James Johnson; and Pvt. Amos McGhghy.
The men dug their way underground into foxholes, into the sides of ditches and canals and remained that way for four long months.