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Leo Allen Mccalip served in the United States Army during World War Two as a member of the 45th Infantry Division. He was a big guy (6'3) so his job was to carry either a mortar or a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle). He participated in the campaigns to invade and liberate both the island of Sicily and Italy. In Italy the 45th was assigned to the 7th Army under the command of General George Patton. On July 10, 1943 he was in the initial amphibious landing forces on Sicily's southeastern coast, driving northward to about midway up the island. At that point, part of the 45th (including himself) was sent back to the coast where they boarded ships again and sailed around the island and made another landing (his second) on the northeastern coast, in an attempt to cut off the German/Italian retreat. After Sicily was taken the 45th was given time to rest and re-equip before their next assignment-the invasion of southern Europe (Italy). On September 3, 1943 the 45th (now assigned to General Mark Clark's 5th Army) commenced an amphibious landing (his third) neat the Italian port of Salerno on the Italy's west coast. After weeks of hard fighting in the Italian mountains and securing the port the 45th re-embarked to ships for another landing (his fourth) further north up the coast at Anzio on January 22, 1944. Even though the 45th had been in heavy combat before, Anzio was the worst. The landing was relatively unopposed, but the Germans brought everything they had, to bear on the consolidated landing forces. It took until May to break German opposition. It was some of the bloodiest fighting in the war. Part of this fighting included the famous battle of Monte Cassino in March 1944. It is during this time that Leo Allen Mccalip's unit earned the Presidential Unit Citation for the extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. It was also during this time that Leo Allen Mccalip earned the Bronze Star (our country's 4th highest commendation) for acts of heroism and meritorious service in the combat zone. By Christy Mccalip


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