6th Inniskillings attack Piumarola, Italy.

Wednesday, 17 May, 1944

The 38 (Irish) Brigade attack, northwards from the bridgehead over the River Rapido, continued.

On 17 May, the 6th Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers led the 38 (Irish) Brigade attack on the walled village of Piumarola held by elements of the German 1st Parachute Division. For comparatively few casualties, the Skins captured the village, took 100 prisoners and seized three self-propelled guns - Support Company later kept one of these vehicles as it was useful for recovering bogged-down trucks.

The 6th Inniskilling War Diary records that at 1855 hours, the Commanding officer, Lt Col H E N Bredin MC, had been hit 'fairly badly' when shrapnel wounded him in the legs. He refused to be evacuated until sure the battle was progressing well and continued to command his battalion while tied to the bonnet (hood) of his jeep.

IWM NA 15654Worthy of mention too is Corporal Hadden who won a bar to his Military Medal by daring deeds in this and the previous action. At Piumarola village, he destroyed an enemy post and captured ten prisoners single-handed.

Left, Mortar Carriers of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers, also in 38 (Irish) Brigade, pass a wrecked German Nebelwerfer rocket launcher near Ceprano (north of Piumarola) on the road to Rome. (© IWM (NA 15654))