Julian Victor Beatty

17th Troop Carrier Squadron

64th Troop Carrier Group



May 10, 1944


I was assigned to the 64th Troop Carrier Group at Bari, Italy, but did not know it until I arrived in Comiso, Sicily.   On Wednesday, May 10, 1944, we left Bari, Italy, by train, twenty-four men per box car, along with boxes of “C” rations.   The next afternoon we arrived in Reggio, Italy, and crossed over into Messina.

May 13, 1944


On Saturday, May 13th, we left Messina in a British truck for Catania, Sicily, and spent the night there.  The following day, May 14th, I met my first member of the 64th TCG who brought a C-47 to pick up several men.  It was my first plane ride and the pilot thought it would be fun to hedge hop all the way to Comiso.  We flew up one side of the hill and down the other with cattle running in all directions.  Upon reaching Comiso, I was assigned to the 17th Troop Carrier Squadron and lived in a tent that had been pitched in an olive grove.  When I arrived in Sicily most of the Group was in the CBI area staging cargo to be flown over the “Hump” to China.

Several men left in Comiso were assigned duty to help locate equipment that had been stolen by the Italians.  One day we went to a jail and picked up a prisoner who took us to Gela where we found a Jeep that had been buried.  However, the Group soon returned from CBI and relieved us of this duty assignment.

June 22, 1944


Received orders signed by Lt. Col. Cerny to get ready to move to Rome.

June 28, 1944


Left Comiso by C47 with Jeep and water-trailer for  Ciampino,  Italy Airfield  South  of  Rome.   When we arrived the field was still being used by P47 planes, so we had to find quarters on a hill nearby.   In a day or two the P47's moved out and we moved in.


One  of  the  Squadron's  planes  crashed  on  take-off returning to Comiso for men and burned on the field.  The pilot and co-pilot burned to death in their seats. One man was seriously injured when thrown from the plane. Three  days  later  a  railroad work crew found another plane crewman near the tracks.

My job was phone line and repairing electric lighting in the building and repairs to generators.

August 6, 1944


Celebrate  second anniversary of  17th Troop Carrier Squadron

August 10-12, 1944


Gliders and crews moved to Ciampino.

August 15, 1944 


Early  this  morning  our  plane  towing  gliders loaded  with  supplies  left  for  invasion  of  Southern France.  Word came back later that a number of men and gliders were lost due to landing field was smaller than thought.

September 6, 1944 


It is my 22nd  Birthday.  Left  Ciampino  with small  crew  this  morning  for  Southern  France.   When reaching the field where we were to land, it was covered with water and Red Flares were fired.  We returned to Bastia,  Corsica.  Later in the day,  we tried again but were turned back and ended up sleeping on the plane.

September 7, 1944


Left Bastia for Southern France and again turned back.   Later in the day we tried again and landed in Istres,  France on  the  fourth   try.  (Promoted to Sgt. while here.)  In  Istres  our  planes were used to carry gasolene and supplies to the fast moving front and carrying out the wounded.   The Free French Army had some B-26 planes on the  field  and  I never saw any of them used.  The men wore  American  uniforms  and  spent most of  their  time doing nothing, except drinking wine and eating bread.

November 11, 1944 Saturday 


Left Istres, France and returned to Ciampino to join the Group.

November 23, 1944 Thursday 


Thanksgiving Day – Ciampino, Italy

December 25, 1944


Christmas Day - Ciampino

January 13,  1945     


Left Ciampino for Cicena which was near  the Rosigniano Air Field.   At this time the war in Italy had moved to the mountains in the North.  The planes were used mostly at night to drop men and supplies in  the  mountains   to  the   fighting  partisans.    The Partisans  helped  bring  an  end  to  the war  in Italy.


The partisans  are  the ones  that  killed Mussolini and his mistress and hung them by their heels in the square at Milan.

March 11, 1945       


I was transferred to 64th Headquarters and  left  for  12th Air Force Headquarters in Florence for  training  on  maintenance  of  secret  code  machine Sigcum.  While in Florence we got word that President Roosevelt had died.

April  13,  1945  


Left Florence and returned to Cicena where I stayed until the war's end May 8th.

May 20,  1945 


Orders  issued for all  64th to prepare to move to Naples, Italy.  In the meantime I had received all  new  equipment  to  be  installed  at  Headquarters.  All boxes of equipment were loaded in a trailer, towed by a Jeep and left in a parking lot in Naples near the Port.

May 23, 1945 


Personnel of the 64th Troop Carrier Group boarded  a  Troop Transport  for place unknown.   Rumors on ship that we were going to Natal.

June 1,  1945


Arrived in Trinidad where 64th disbands.  (Promoted to Staff Sgt.)

June 11, 1945


Transferred from 64th Troop Carrier Group to Co.  C.  Signal  Service,  1107th Air Force Base Unit, Carribbean Wing, ATC, Waller Field, Trinidad, BWI.

October 1, 1945 


Orders to board plane at 10:00 pm.

October  2, 1945 


Arrived at Miami, Florida.

October 4, 1945 


Train to Atlanta, Georgia.

October  7, 1945  


Received Army Discharge at Ft. McPherson, Georgia.   At  11:00  a.m. was  in a taxi to train depot.  

October 8, 1945  


Arrived home in  Eddyville, Kentucky

October 9,  1945  


Attended dedication of  TVA Kentucky Dam  on Tennessee River at Gilbertsville, Kentucky.  President  Harry S. Truman was the honored guest and Speaker.






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