STEPPING STONE TO EUROPE
SICILY was the scene of sharp and stubborn fighting, long marches and steep hills. The doughboys had a battle on their hands and blisters on their feet.
The 1st, 3rd, 45th, 2nd Armored and the Rangers hit the Southern Sicilian coast at 0245 10 July. Men of the 82nd Airborne division were dropped behind the beaches.
One of the toughest battles of the campaign was fought on the beach at Gela where the 1st division, backed by the navy, stood off 50 medium and heavy tanks of the Hermann Goering Panzer Division. After the beaches were secure the 2nd Armored and the 3rd divisions slashed across the island with amazing rapidity.
With the island cut in half, the end was inevitable. By a series of leap-frog maneuvers along the coast and frontal attacks through the mountains, the Germans were steadily forced to give ground.
When patrols of the 3rd and 45th entered Messina 17 August, Sicily was completely ours.