We called it Allied Money it was specifically printed for the Italian Campaign, and possibly other occupied war zones. The original lira was useless.
The ship was the American built (Liberty Ship) designed to replace our heavy Merchant Ship losses. I joined her (SS Ocean Vesper) in Birkenhead, in late 1943 destination unknown, and spent two Xmases in the Mediterranean. And taken over in Algiers by the army S.T.O. (Sea Transport Officer) she was a tramp ship, with heavy lifting derricks (Jumbo Derricks).
We plied all over the war zone, from North Africa, to Malta and the Italian landings and Campaign generally. Carrying War Materials, ammunition, tanks, worries, men, and whatever. We followed the Allied Armies. American on the (West) Naples side to the British, French, Polish etc on the Adriatic Side (East). We frequented Sicily, and Southern Italy, and the landings at San Rafeal, and the St Tropez area of Southern France. And landed soldiers and sailors, off American, British, French and others and fetch back from these landing (German prisoners of war). We were usually unloaded by British Soldier (Dockers) the (1001 Docking Company), I would say all from Liverpool. There must have been many from the Scotland Road Area. Great Guys. (The Thousand and One Docking Company).
I can't remember exactly where we picked up the American Boys that wrote the (Short Snorter). Possibly Naples, Algiers, or Bari. But they where all good men. We used to like the Americans because they had plenty of good food. We had given our potatoes and flour to the Royal Navy on a destroyer, that asked us if we could spare them any. Then we found out that it was impossible for us to buy any more. So we lived on rice to supplement the loss of bread and the spud. But we had it in every form you could think of. It did the job. But you don't half miss a good Butty.
By Jack Brotheridge