The last time the Mount Vesuvius erupted in Italy was on March 18 1944. The eruptions and the lava flows lasted for several days.
The villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma, and Ottaviano were destroyed, as was part of San Giorgio a Cremano. 26 died and thousands had to flee their homes.
The US Army Air Force 340th Bombardment Group was based at Pompeii Airfield at the time, just a few Kilometers away from the volcono. Initially it was thought they didn’t have to evacuate but their luck. quickly changed.
Sgt. Robert F. McRae. documented the events in his diary.
March 20, 1944
“As I sit in my tent … I can hear at four- to 10-second intervals the loud rumbling of the volcano on the third day of its present eruption. The noise is like that of bowling balls slapping into the pins on a giant…
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