Once my grandmother knew where her son was buried, she had another request: A photograph of the gravesite. And she had someone in mind who could manage it—a friend Babe had made in Italy who lived in Caserta. The only hitch: The Italian man couldn’t get into the U.S. military cemetery where Babe was buried.
With this letter, Grandma tried, but did not succeed in making it happen.
My grandmother’s Dec. 17, 1946, letter:
Office of the Quartermaster General
Re: Frank D. Mauro (SU 32 810 329)
In your kind letter of October 16th, 1946, you informed my husband and myself of the exact place of burial of our son, T/5 Frank D. Mauro Su 32 810 329.
He is at the U.S. Military Cemetery, Mirandola, 18 miles northeast of Modena, Italy.
Since then we have made contact with some native Italians who knew him and liked him. They have offered, and I could like very much that they take some pictures of his burial place. However, it seems that their son is not allowed to do this without a pass, which I assume can be obtained through your office.
The person is Antonio Apuzzo, Raviscanino, Caserta, Italy.
You know that any assistance which you will give would be more than deeply appreciated. Please let me know of any action taken.
And the reply from the Quartermaster General’s office:
27 December 1946
Dear Mrs. Mauro:
Your letter concerning your son, the late Technician Fifth Grade Frank D. Mauro, has been received in this office.
It is regretted to advise you that the War Department regulations prohibit the photographing of individual graves overseas; therefore, this office cannot comply with your request for an admittance pass for Antonio Apuzzo who desired to take a picture of your son’s grave in the United States Military Cemetery, Mirandola, Italy. It is anticipated that, in the near future the War Department will provide the next of kin with a photograph of the military cemetery in which rest the remains of their loved ones.
FOR THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL:
JAMES L. PRENN
Above: Memorial Day 2017 at the Florence National Cemetery, which is where eight temporary military cemeteries, including Mirandola, were later consolidated.