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Two members of an American engineering company Staff Sgt. Maurice Welsh of Hartsdale, New York (top) and 1st Sgt. Harold Bloom of River Edge, New Jersey, decorate what was certainly one of the largest trees in Italy in 1944.

The tree stood 41 feet high alongside Highway 41 on the way to Bologna. Welsh and Bloom were photographed decorating the tree with colored lights and stars cut out of sheets of tin.

Christmas was probably the most difficult time for soldiers to be away from home during the war and they often did their best to compensate — or perhaps, in this case, overcompensate — for what they were missing at home. 

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