Col. Richmond had moved AFS/GHQ from Cairo to Naples beginning November 9, 1943. By then the Germans had been driven to their "winter" or Gustav Line midway between Naples and Rome, although there was still some bombing of Naples. The Headquarters complex was situated in the fashionable Vomero residential district on the heights above the city. It was composed of requisitioned apartments and villas; there were also facilities for garaging, workshops, storage.
The office itself occupied two stories of a villa, the Villa Doria, with billets at a "white house down a lane from the office." In time, a total of 10 additional apartments or flats were requisitioned to handle all the traffic. The office replaced the Naples Liaison Office.
Not far from HQ was the AFS Club cum Rest Home, inaugurated by Lt. Gerry Paine, who had done the same thing in Cairo. It was a huge ornate villa of several stories, something of an architectural hybrid of Renaissance and Rococo dubbed by some as imitation "Medici Villa." It served a vital function for men arriving and departing, men on leave, and the convalescents from the Naples base hospitals with as many as 30 at a time. It was a godsend for me in December 1943 after a month at the British First General. I remembered Gerry presiding at dinner served in style on a large ornate table under the tinted blue ceiling; imitation marble busts looked down from the walls. The meals were delicious, prepared by skilled chef and staff recruited by Gerry. Lt. Frank Marler, CM 44, was Club Manager in late 1945.
Charles P. Edwards. Part 9. An AFS Driver Remembers.. [draft] New York: AFS, 2002.
AFS Letters, 1943-1944. Published at AFS HQ, 60 Beaver
Street, New York.