The entry of American troops into Trabia

80 years of history

The first departments of the 7th Army arrived in Palermo on 10 July, and the next day the city was completely in the hands of General Patton; who had the stroke of genius: quickly reactivate the port and land a division, the 9th, which had been kept in reserve. After a few days the advance towards Messina will begin; he Patton from the west, Montgomery from the south, as soon as he has overcome that cursed mountain, Etna, which blocks his way after conquering Catania.

On 23 July 1943 the American soldiers, who had occupied Palermo, marched towards Messina. In the afternoon of that day the column of armored vehicles arrives in Trabia, here it finds the natural obstacle constituted by the entrance door to the country.

The Commander, General Patton, gives the immediate order to partially demolish it in such a way as to allow the passage of the imposing American war machine, after the passage from Trabia the troops established the camp in the Bragone district close to the city of Termini Imerese which together with Cefalù they will be conquered the following day.

Legend has it that all the remains of the arch were thrown into the then Fuori Porta stream, which today flows under Via Fornace and Via Porta Palermo.

After underwater research carried out by Salvatore Ferrara, to reconstruct the history of the Trabia trap, among the many anchors and cable lugs found on the seabed, some carved stones were also found, which probably came from the arch, a theory confirmed by an interview with Antonino Filippone, a former tuna worker, who explains that the stones were used as dead bodies to keep the nets on the bottom and those of the arch were no exception. In 2008 the arch was restored and the missing part rebuilt.

It is possible to listen to an interview on the Trabia tuna fishery in the web radio section in the program “Ora Tu Cuntu” episode N°23. By clicking HERE

Franco e Francesco Terrasi