My uncle, Philip E. Bergquist, served the USA at 5th Army Headquarters from October 1943 until October 1945. These stories about his colleagues come from letters he sent home from Italy to his family.
Ralph is mentioned in two letters from May of 1945, while Fifth Army Headquarters was in Gardone, Italy. In his letter of 2 May 1945, Philip mentions that “Ralph Conner is in the hospital with the chicken Pox.” At the end of the month, Philip’s letter mentions that Ralph is still a Pfc (most of the letter is about recent promotions). And explains the non-promotion this way, “Ralph has been in the hospital with Chicken pox and just got back the other day. He was kind of lucky in a way because he missed 3 moves—he didn’t have to help lift anything.”