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Pylon1357

German units near Gasa Vezzario Italy February 1944

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Hello All, I hope I have posted this request for help in the correct section. As the topic title states, I am seeking information as to what German units were in the area of Gasa Vezzario Italy, on 29 February 1944.
My primary field of research involves the Irish Regiment of Canada. There is one man, Pte. James Dort, who disappeared during a skirmish on that date. Below is the information I have currently. There is nothing further I can glean from reviewing Regtl diaries ect as this man went missing with not further trace of him. There is no mention of any of his kit being located, even though a recce patrol was sent out the following morning to the location.
I am hoping that German records of the units in the area would have a mention of this skirmish, with possible further details as this occurred in German controlled area.
Ayy and all assistance in this would be greatly appreciated. I do not know how to go about looking up what German forces were involved, as German research is outside my knowledge area.
Pte Dort was last seen about 400 yards west of village of Gasa Vezzario.
Last seen by L/Cpl Bray; Ptes. Crawford and Dororty of “A” Company and Cpl. Clegg of
“B” Coy. Irish RC.
During a fighting patrol at approximately 2100 hrs. trying to locate enemy machine gun
post.
Cpl. Bray left his section just below the crest of a ridge while he crawled forward to recce
the way when he came under fire and could not return to his section. Cpl. Clegg ordered
Dorerty and Crawford to go around to a flank and open fire on the enemy pit to help Cpl.
Bray out. Cpl Clegg remained with Dort under cover of the crest of the ridge while an
attack was made on the enemy post by another action. When this was over but before
Cpl. Bray had returned, Cpl. Clegg tried to reassemble the section called out to Dort to
come along. Dort said he was going to stay. Cpl. Clegg then left him.
enemy was aprox 30 to 50 yards away. small arms and grenades
when the patrol withdrew, Dort remained behind, he was well within enemy territory.
Kindest regards everyone,
Cliff

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Hello Cliff

I was trying to look into the problem. But first of all, this Gasa Vezzario is only mentioned in this report. That means, the designation of the place is wrong. That will make any search somewhat difficult.

Cheers

A.

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I think you may need to look at the Arielli angle...

Date of Death:
February 29, 1944
Circumstances:
Missing in Action, presumed dead.
He went missing during a fighting
patrol.
Action:
Arielli
Location of Burial:

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Hello A and Chris, the area was around the ARIELLI area. There are no map co-ordidinates to refer to in this. There is mention of this being in the "vicinity of Cork". Cork I assume to be a code name.

I will try to narrow the location down further. I was not aware that Gasa Vezzario would be a code named location.

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I came across the following entry in the Regimental History of the Regiment. I am not sure it helps at all in narrowing down the location.

The present C.O. then Major George Macartney, led
an “A” Coy. patrol across the Arielli on the night of 29
Feb., and he and his twenty-five men opened up a heavy
fire-fight with the enemy near “Cork” and did much
damage before withdrawing to their own side of the
River. His only casualties were two wounded, including
his Company Sergeant-Major, George Morton-Cameron.
One private, “porky Dort was missing, and since there
has been no report made of him to date, he is now
presumed dead. Maj., Macartney took a back on another
occasion to look for him, but was unable to find any
trace. At the end of February our battle casualties stood
at two killed, six dead of wounds, eleven wounded, and
one missing in action.
This front was not too hard on the Unit as awhole.
The front consisted of a deep and rugged river valley,
containing the narrow Arielli stream, with the Germans
occupying slit trenches on one high bank, which forced
them to remain invisible all day under our observation,
during weather which must have been very hard on them
22 indeed. Our bank of the River had a fair number of
buildings, and in one area a whole, small agricultural
village, perched on the very edge of the bank, in an
advanced state of ruin. Our buildings were strongly
fortified, and guarded with a minimum of personel by
day, while the remainder slept, but by night, positions
were taken up in slit trenches about the perimeter of each
Company’s defensive area. In addition, observation and
listening posts were maintained in suitable forward
locations by day and night. So each side spent their days,
calling down fire from mortars and artillery on any move-
ment detected on the other side of the river, and keeping
their fronts alive with night patrols to prevent the enemy
from infiltrating into their areas.

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While "Cork" (I found that online and did already read it before) seems to be a real coded name, Gasa Vezzario just seems to be misspelled. It is obvilously Casa instead of Gasa but I can't find anything like Vezzario.

That will take a while to check through my library, so I'll get me something to eat first :)

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Now I have found at least an answer to your initial question:

By the end of February the 305th Division, supplemented by the 334th Engineer Battalion next to the sea, manned the entire front opposite the Canadian Corps

That is from:

Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War
Volume II
THE CANADIANS IN ITALY 1943-1945

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Hello again A. I appreciate the help.

I have found a Report, number 178 from CMHQ titled Canadian Operations in Italy 5 Jan - 21 Apr 44. That report does not mention this action specifically,

however on page 25 of this report. it states that the night of Feb 24/25, the 146 Regt was relieved by an unknown unit and now it seems probable that the enemy division in front of us from the TOLLO road to the sea is the 90 Pz Gr Div. (dated 03 Mar 44)

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Good Morning,

Same source as above:

A planned exchange with the 90th Panzer Grenadier Division did not materialize, and on 21 February Kesselring ordered that exhausted formation into army group reserve at Frosinone,

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This is becoming even more difficult the deeper I look into it all. I guess the first thing I really need to do is positively identify the location of this incident. I will have to go back to the LAC and check out the War Diary again. I will be sure this time to check out the PTII orders as well, as they may identify something for me.

What is driving me to look deeper into this matter is the simple fact of Pte Dort himself. His father was lost at sea prior to his birth. His mother died as a result of his childbirth. He was raised by his maternal grandparents for a while, then by his aunt. He had no siblings.

I guess I find it rather tragic. I would very much like to find out what happened to him.

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Yes. right. Maybe nobody else will ever ask what his fate was, if not you.

I'm pretty convinced, that the 305. Inf.Div. was the primary unit in the vincinity.

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