Lost in the Catacombs, June 1944

Smiling Italians approve the Allied entry into Rome. Fifth Army. Rome area, Italy. 5 June 1944. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland (111-SC-190313) courtesy of http://wwiiarchives.net.
American vehicles of the Fifth Army pass the ancient Coliseum as they begin to occupy Rome, Italy. June 5, 1944. National Archives and Records Administration (111-SC-190312) courtesy of http://wwiiarchives.net.

June 5, 1944, U.S. troops entered Rome.

Lost in the Catacombs
Art Austin arrived in Rome with the Fifth Army. He and his friends decided to visit the Catacombs. They managed to persuade the guard on duty at the catacombs, to let them explore where the early Christians had hid.

There was no electricity in the area, so there was no lighting in the Catacombs. But Art’s friend said not to worry as he had been a Boy Scout.

When they passed the same area more than once, Art decided he’d have to go with a better plan or they’d never get out. Since the men weren’t supposed to have been allowed there, Art figured no one would look for them in that location. Art reached up over his head and found the electric wires that were used to light the place before the war. He hung on to and followed the wires, until finally the group found their way out.

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2 Responses to Lost in the Catacombs, June 1944

  1. cousin Margie says:

    I never heard this story before. I used to listen to him and my dad talk when he came to visit during his furloughs. So glad he ingeniously found his way out.

  2. kathy kinsey says:

    That was very clever and straight thinking of him to figure their way out! In the early to middle 1980s I and Sam and friends used to go caving in Indiana and KY in non-commercial caves. But we always had a map and our own lights!

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