Pfc Frank Poidmore was born in Youngstown, Ohio December 16, 1916. He enlisted in the service on February 2, 1942, just 2 months after the war began. This group includes his officially engraved slot brooch posthumous Purple Heart, with its presentation case, and a lot of official paperwork describing his death and subsequent re-burial.
He and the 3rd Division had landed in the Casablanca area during operation Torch in late 1942 and moved through North Africa. As you read the desciption below, it becomes obvious that Poidmore was an Anzio Casualty.
With the new year,(1943) a switch in plans sent the 3rd to the Naples staging area to prepare for a landing 30 miles south of Rome, an operation that was to roll back the enemy on the southern Italian front. The 3rd and a brigade of the British 1st Div. landed Jan. 22 near the little resort towns of Nettuno and Anzio. Winston Churchill once spoke of "tears, sweat and toil." Anzio was paid for in guts — American and British guts. More than 6000 men died during the next few months to protect 100 square miles of beachhead. In that hallowed niche reserved for names like Bataan and Guadalcanal, Anzio will live forever. Anzio always will be a vivid memory to the men who fought there… and survived.
Three regiments landed abreast, each speared by an assault battalion. By mid-afternoon next day, they were 10 miles inland. The enemy's reaction was swift. Instead of withdrawing, he raced fresh troops from the Rome vicinity and northern Italy and hurled them into battle. When a 45th Inf. Div. combat team landed on the beachhead D plus 6, an equivalent of three divisions loomed in front of Cisterna on Highway 7 as the 3rd regrouped for its first assault.
The brick-wall defense stopped the attack, which began Jan 29 and ended early Jan. 31. When the 7th's 1st Bn. finally was relieved, less than 200 men were left; 2nd Bn. had 400; 3rd Bn., 600. Closest to Cisterna were 1st Bn., 30th, and 2nd Bn., 15th, which had to swing to the defense only 1500 yards from the objective.
Anzio was barely 14 miles wide and 10 miles from sea to front at its deepest penetration. The enemy squatted around the beachhead's perimeter and in the Colli Laziali Hills with perfect observation of every square inch of beachhead.
For a while, the fight simmered down, then flared again Feb. 29. Field Marshal Kesselring flung three divisions and elements of a fourth against the 3rd. Wave upon wave of enemy infantry stormed positions. Supported by seven tanks, a regiment struck a company of the 7th, only to be whipped back in retreat. It was during this action that Pfc Poidmore was killed by gunshot to the chest.
In 1948, at the family's request, Pfc Poidmore was brought home to Ohio for burial.
SOLD to a collector 04-2021