Turn back the calendar pages for a moment to 1943, when Camp 59 prisoner Charles Simmons marked off each day of the year with an X while waiting for war’s end and liberation.
The calendar was a papal-issued calendar/notebook that Charles received before his transfer to Camp 66 Capua and then to Camp 59 Ascoli Picenzo (in Servigliano).
Seven of the 12 months have notes written beside them.
These notes are:
February 9—START TRIP TO CAMP 66 CA_____ [page is torn so the last word is not legible]
February 15—ARRIVE IN CAPURA CAMP 66 [Camp 66 is in Capua, Italy]
February 28—START TRIP FOR NEW CAMP
March 1—ARRIVE IN NEW HOME CAMP 59
May 9—TUNIS TAKEN BY ALLIES
May 17—209 AMERICANS ARRIVE AT CAMP P.G. 59. NO ONE FROM OUR CO.
May 18—RUMOR THAT THE CONTINENT HAS BEEN INVADED.
July 11—Invasion of Sicily
August 18—Fall of Sicily
September 8—Fall of Italy we received the news on the 9th.
September 14—EVACUATED CAMP 59 WENT TO THE MOUNTAINS TO HIDE OUT.
November 10—MY THREE YEAR ENLISTMENT IS UP. (OH! HAPPY DAY.)
I PREDICT THE WAR WILL BE OVER NOV. 16TH 1943.
MAR. 16TH 1943.
These simple notes are evidence that the prisoners were continually receiving news and rumors concerning the progress of the war.
Armie Hill was one of the 209 prisoners who arrived at Camp 59 on May 17.
Sadly, Charles Simmons’ prediction of war’s end on November 16, 1943 was far from accurate!