I.S.9 Italian Agents, Part 5

This is the fifth part in a series of posts concerning Italians who served as agents for I.S.9 (Intelligence School 9 of the Central Mediterranean Force).

I.S.9′s chief mission was support and rescue of escaped POWs and evaders (E&Es) stranded in enemy territory. I.S.9 was a division of M.I.9 (British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9), a department of the War Office during WW II.

I am grateful to researcher Brian Sims for allowing me access to his collection of British National Archives I.S.9 files.


Ezio Terrizzano

Born November 2, 1913 at San Bartolomeo del Cervo, Imperia Province. Ezio was a lieutenant in the Italian army (artillery) in Libya until April 1942, and thereafter he served in Italy until the armistice. He spoke French and English fairly well. (He could make himself understood).

Ezio was attached for duty with I.S.9 by the Italian High Command. He was employed by Field Section No. 1 in the capacity of liaison discipline at the Bari headquarters.

He ceased to be employed on May 22, 1945, as his services were no longer required due to conclusion of hostilities. He proceeded to Milan on May 23 for 21 day’s leave, after which he was to report to the Italian authorities.


Giuseppe Trosa

Born November 24, 1917 at Portici, Naples Province.

His next of kin was a sister, Rosa Trosa.

He was educated at Frascati and Naples (scuola industriale). He was unoccupied 1934–37. In 1937, he was called up for service in the Italian Air Force as a radio electrician. He served as a sergeant. Giuseppe served until the armistice as follows: July–December 1937, Aquila degli Abruzzi December 1937–July 1938, Naples July 1938–May 1940, Torino May–October 1940, Rome October 1940–July 1943, Albania and Montenegro July–September 1943, Rome When the armistice was declared, Giusuppe went home. He then reported to military authorities at Naples in October 1943 and was posted to 304th Dep, Italian Air Force, in Bitonto. He volunteered for service with A Force in April 1944, and was employed by Captain Vlasto, Advanced Headquarters (West), A Force, in the capacity of wireless telecommunications (W/T) operator.

He knew the Naples area very well, the town of Torino and Caselle Torinesi and area well, Aquila a little, and Rome a little.

He was an experienced W/T operator and an electro mechanic in the Italian Air Force (1940–43). He also received training in the same area through the No. 1 Special Force Qualified School in 1944.

Giuseppe was issued a false Carta d’Identita for the Comune de Siena in the name of Luigi Rosi, droghiere.

He ceased to be employed on June 27, 1945. He was sent on leave, and then was to report to the Servizio Informazioni Militare (SIM) on July 14, 1945.


Fausto Vignudelli

Born December 10, 1921 at Nonantola, Modena Province.

Fausto’s family moved from Nonantola to Piano di Follo. His father was a contadino. Fausto went to school at Vezzano, Ligure.

Beginning in 1937, he was a welder in a factory near Spezia. He was called up for military service in December 1939. He served in tanks in Italy and in Libya (April–August 1940), and in artillery in Russia from June 1942 for 11 months. He was at Colle Val d’Elsa (Tuscany) at armistice. He went home and joined the patriots (Bucchioni’s band). He remained with Bucchioni until December 1944, when Bucchioni sent him with a group of POWs from Vermouth, arriving through the lines on December 1944.

Fausto knew the area of La Spezia and Genoa well. He held identification (tesserino de riconoscimento) for Giustizia e Liberta, a patriot organization.

He was employed by Field Headquarters, I.S.9 in the capacity of guide on December 27, 1944. Fausto went by the name Giorgio Polli during I.S.9 employment.

He ceased to be employed on April 28, 1945 because of lack of further work. He was paid off and given a pass to return to his home near La Spezia.


Daniele Vitalini

Born January 30, 1916 at Modena, Modena Province.

Daniele was schooled at Modena until 1939, when he took employment with the Casa di Risparmio (savings bank). He was called to service in 1940. He served with the 36th Infantry, and then with the Nembo division of the Italian Army’s Paracadutisti. He joined ‘F’ Reconnaissance after armistice, and I.S.9 on April 5, 1945 in the capacity of agent. He had local knowledge of Modena and Bologna, and he was trained as a parachutist.

He went by the name Daniele during employment.

Daniele ceased to be employed on May 24, 1945 when his area of operations (Bologna) was overrun. He was dismissed by Tactical Headquarters, and he returned to Florence.


Beniamino Angelo Zigrossi

Born November 19, 1915 at Caramanico, Pescara Province.

Beniamino was educated at elementary and higher grade schools at Chieti. In November 1936 he was called to the Italian Army, and in 1937 he went to military school at Pavia. His studies there included radio operation and electrical engineering. In March 1938, Beniamino was assigned to military service in Africa. In August 1938 he left the army to work as a radio expert in Borgomanero, in Novara Province. He was called back to the army in March 1939 and sent to Albania. In August 1942 he was sent to Jugo-Slavia, and in September 1942 he was sent to Greece with the occupation army. He was taken as a prisoner of war and transferred to Poland (Deblin and Przemysl). He was later taken to a POW camp north of Lake Constance, from which he escaped. He returned to his home and there was collected by I.S.9 for service in March 22, 1945.

Beniamino had local knowledge of the region north of Bologna, Borgomanero, and Milan its surrounding area.

He spoke a little French. He possessed an identify card of his regiment.

He was employed by Captain B. G. McGibbon-Lewis, 5 Field Section of I.S.9. on March 25, 1945 in the capacity of agent. (He was recommended by 5 Field Section agent Ursic Romano.) He received I.S.9 training in wireless telecommunications (W/T).

Beniamino used the name Tonino Bucci during employment.

He ceased to be employed on May 1, 1945 because there was no further work for him. He was paid off and given a pass to proceed to Milan.


Vittorio Tellini

Born May 22, 1915 at Pratovecchio, Arezzo Province.

Vittorio was educated at Poppi, Montvarchi, and Tripoli.

He held a diploma of accountant. He joined the regular Italian Army on September 15, 1933. He served with engineers at Bolzano, Florence, Piavia, Isola d’Elba, Turin, and North Africa. He held the rank of 2/Ten (likely 2nd lieutenant, or tenente) in the Italian Army. He was taken prisoner of war at Sidi El Barrani in December 1940. He was repatriated as an invalid. He began involvement with the Partisans in October 1943, and he formed his own band in May 1944.

On September 13, 1944, Vittorio joined I.S.9 under B. G. McGibbon-Lewis, No. 5 Field Section of I.S.9, in the capacity of agent and guide. He was recommended for service by Italian Lieutenant R. H. Cagnazzo. Vittorio left I.S.9 on December 11, 1944 in order to return to his Italian combat unit, but he rejoined No. 5 Field Section on March 23, 1945. He attended a parachutist course in Cecina on April 20, 1945. He returned from his first mission with Celi and Ciarpaglini with four POWs.

He spoke French and German fairly well. He had local knowledge of Bolzano and Turin. He held a Carta d’Identita for Bibbiena, Arezzo Province.

During employment he went by the name of Lupo.

Vittorio ceased to be employed on May 9, 1945 due to lack of further work. He was given a pass to return to proceed to Rome.

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