First page of the I.S.9 “progress report” for December 16–29, 1943
The transcription and notes in this post are by Dr. Luigi Donfrancesco, nephew of I.S.9 agent Andrea Scattini.
Access to the war diary (from the British National Archives) was courtesy of researcher Brian Sims.
Here are a few abbreviations that occur in this report:
2 Para Bde – Second Paratroopers Brigade
8 Indian Div. or 8 Ind. Div. – Eighth Indian Division
A/Q – acquisition
AMGOT – Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories
Bde – brigade
B.M. – brigade major
DADOS – Deputy Assistant Director, Ordinance Services
ex P/W – ex-prisoner of war
F.S.S. – Field Security Service
H.Q. – headquarters
I.O. – Intelligence Officer or Information Officer
L/Cpl. – lance corporal
N.Z. Div. – New Zealand Division
Re – regarding
S.I.B. – Special Intelligence Branch/Bureau
sd – signed
Sect. – section
PROGRESS REPORT – No. 5 ‘A’ FORCE FIELD SECTION
16 DECEMBER – 29 DECEMBER, 43
Dec. 16: Visited DADOS at VASTO and on to CUPELLO. Contacted DADOS 8 Indian Div. Sgt. Gillespie maintained daily contact [with] H.Q. 8 Indian Div.
Dec. 17: LANCIANO: picked up agent ZOPITO [di Camillo] at CASALBORDINO. Visited 406 F.S.S. and AMGOT and S.I.B. re. civilian clothing. This was satisfactorily arranged. Sgt. Gillespie brought the news that Capt. LEWIS [Richard W. B. Lewis, U.S. Army Air Force] had come through.
Dec. 18: Clothing hunt. “Made my number” with G.III (I) 5 Div now in this area. Daily contact by Sgt. Gillespie with H.Q. 8 Indian Div.
Dec. 19: Left for TERMOLI, dropping [agent] ZOPITO [di Camillo] at CASALBORDINO to recover from his last trip.
Dec. 20: TERMOLI in time for two Generals and one Air Vice Marshal and party. Discussed general business matters with Capt. FOWLER. [Spartaco] PERINI to BRINDISI for early return. No indication what has happened to POP [a well trained agent, actual name unknown] and PERINI’s brother [Dino Perini].
Dec. 21: Left TERMOLI on urgent call from N.Z. Div. Meanwhile Sgt. Gillespie had contacted N.Z. Div. and picked up ANDREA [Scattini] and ex P/W L/Cpl. SPIRO. They were brought to LANCIANO and kept for interrogation on my arrival. 17 F.S.S. [personnel] contacted.
Dec. 22: ANDREA [Scattini] and L/Cpl. SPIRO gave full story as directed by HUGH [Uguccione Ranieri di Sorbello)]. The facts were told to HUGH by FRANCO [Scoletta, a collaborator] of Capt. McGibbon Lewis [Bridges George McGibbon Lewis]. Signals and reports sent to H.Q. Bari. Five volunteers arrived from BARI. 8 Ind. Div. F.S.S. contacted, sent off two guides to SOAMES.
Dec. 23: A/Q matters – food, clothing, house search, etc.
Dec. 24: N.Z. Div. H.Q. to warn them of guide ANTONIO [Pantalone – see new guides at the end of report] expected through. 2 Para Bde – saw I.O.; then to CASOLI Carabinieri re type just come through with information re route. AMGOT – see note re refugees asking payment. Capt. ELLIS and Sgt. called re wireless set on other side. Daily contact maintained with 8 Ind. Div. by Sgt. Gillespie.
Dec. 25: 406 F.S.S. [Field Security Service] contacted No. 5 Field Section!!!
Dec. 26: Visited 8 Ind. Div. DADOS. Two agents briefed. Two agents off.
Dec. 27: CASOLI. Put another two agents through the lines. CUPELLO. Jeep maintenance.
Dec. 28: VASTO – CASALBORDINO, picked up ZOPITO [di Camillo]. Returned to LANCIANO. Belgian interrogated – worthless information.
Dec. 29: N.Z. Div. F.S.S. and went on to CASOLI with 8 Army L/Sgt. In view of the increased activities and possibilities of this area, decided to open a room for agents where they might stay the night before “pushing off” again. This for the shuttle service guides working area South FIUME PESCARA [Pescara River]. This post will be controlled by the 13 Bde F.S.S. in CASOLI, by arrangement with them, and guides reporting back will feed and sleep. Situated next door to the Carabinieri it is perfectly placed for what it is.
Visited 13 Bde. H.Q. and contacted the B.M. who has offered full assistance. The arrangements made with him are:-
a) F.S.S. of 13 Bde will take care of agents and pass them forward to the front line troops.
b) He will arrange a special patrol to accompany forward any special agent I wish to put through.
c) He will endeavour to arrange a “diversionary incident” to draw attention away from the route through which any special agent may be going to use.
Points B. and C. were at the B.M’s suggestion and give an indication that cooperation is complete and satisfactory.
This area, N.Z. Div and 13 Bde have already provided me with two new guides whose services will be valuable. Names of new guides see Appendix ‘A’.
Dec. 29: P.M. – Rations.
Dec. 30: One agent (paratrooper) returned unable to get through owing to German patrols. Intend he will go through with local guides. Visited the forward Battalion Area and put through two agents.
NOTE: Can something be done to ease the situation re refugees with chits saying they have helped ex P/W? Whether AMGOT have the idea that I run a Xmas club or something of the kind I don’t know, but I am threatened with dumping of every refugee peasant who comes into this large area, and who has at any time given help to our fellows on the other side, and AMGOT seems to think that he has passed on another buck.
It would, if I may suggest, be most helpful if AMGOT would send some directive clarifying that situation, and I personally would like to have a document telling me that I am not responsible for dealing in any way with persons who have not assisted ex P/Ws in their actual crossing of the lines.
Names of new guides to be added to the existing list.
i. PIETRORAZIO Alberto, Via Vella 14, SULMONA. (AQUILA).
ii. ANTONIO PANTALONE, Via Largo Garnerdi [perhaps Garibaldi], GUARDIAGRELE.
In the Field
31 Dec, 43
(sd) A. ROBB,
No. 5 ‘A’ Force Field Sect.