A humble sapper, a few months later, he set sail with his comrades shortly after his 21st birthday for Operation Husky the invasion of Sicily as part of Field Marshall Montgomery's 8th Army. It was the first joint operation by the British, American and Canadian soldiers and the men were pleased to discover that the people of Sicily welcomed them.
A month later he was en route for North Africa. The main African campaign had been successful but Rommel was still attempting to break through the British Army.
Within three weeks, the men returned to mainland Italy, landing as part of Operation Avalanche. This time invasion was much harder. The engineers' tasks were to clear minefields and rebuild the bridges which had been destroyed by the Allies and by the Axis forces. Moving north from Reggio, the British troops reached Salerno in late October 1943
before moving inland to Sessa Aurunca.
They also went to Ravello
Agropoli and Capua
Jim remained in Italy until March 1944 when he returned to England for training prior to D-day.