A Day in Rome

Reuniting with Rev. Fitzgerald

"We got to meet the pope."

"We were going to fly from England to Italy for the southern France invasion. And [Rev. Fitzgerald was] all set to go. I told him I’d take him to Rome, and we’d go and see the pope and all this. I’m just talking [laughs]. And they said, 'We got enough Catholic chaplains down in Italy. We don’t need anymore.' So he didn’t get to go, at least he thought. We flew to Italy, cut out a place for landing, built a field there to land and take off. And I’m just lying in the tent one day, and I hear a high-pitched Irish voice. It was Fitzgerald hollering, 'Lieutenant Gunter! Lieutenant Gunter!' They had to send another flight down, another plane, and he got on it. So I was able to take him into Rome...Anyway, we got to see, and we got to meet the pope...Little bitty guy. Everybody would kiss his ring. Well, I didn’t kiss his ring. And he asked me a couple of questions. Pretty sharp guy. And Fitz got to meet him, so that was a highlight for him being overseas."