Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, holds its annual observance of the American soldier landing in Gela on Friday with a ceremony at Ponte Dirillo, near Niscemi.

The historic invasion on July 10, 1943, started with soldiers under Gen. George Patton’s command landing on the southern Italian island to lead a 38-day campaign to liberate Sicily.

The ceremony honors the 39 U.S. soldiers who died in fierce fighting with the Livorno Tank Division.

The multinational, Allied invasion was considered at that time to be the largest amphibious assault of World War II.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Friday. The Sigonella-based Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station has arranged for a van that will leave from NAS II at 7 a.m. for the 1½-hour drive to Niscemi, with time built in for any heavy traffic.

Those interested in taking the van should contact Chief Petty Officer David Kader at DSN 624-1052 or 1040, or via e-mail at:

A reception will be held following the bridge ceremony at the Naval Radio Transmitter Facility in Niscemi.

Schweinfurt memorial service set for July 19A memorial ceremony for two 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, soldiers killed in Iraq will be at 10 a.m. July 19 at the Ledward Chapel in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Sgt. 1st Class Raymond R. Buchan, Company B, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, and Staff Sgt. Michael L. Ruoff Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, were both killed by small-arms fire June 21 in Ta’meem, Iraq, a district of Ramadi.

Limited child care is available. Call 09721-96-6974 to reserve child care for children entering grades two through six. Care for younger children will be provided at the chapel. Priority for child care goes to family members associated with the two soldiers’ companies, according to an Army news release.

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