American Escapers from P.G. 59

The “Scheda Personale P.G.” Italian personal identification card for my father, Sgt. Armie S. Hill. Greg Bradsher describes these prisoner of war cards, now held at the U.S. National Archives, in his research below.

Last month, I received an excellent paper written by historian Greg Bradsher of Silver Spring, Maryland.

He has generously allowed me to share his research on this site:

Stories of American Escapers from Prisoner of War Camp 59, Servigliano

Greg Bradsher, Ph.D.

At the time of the Italian Armistice on September 8, 1943, there were almost 80,000 Allied prisoners of war in Italian prisoner of war camps. Among these prisoners of war were 1,310 Americans; many were soldiers captured in North Africa and airmen shot down over Italy. (1)

Most of the American prisoners of war were confined at Camp 59, at Servigliano. This camp, 15 miles north of Ascoli, in the foothills of the Apennines, held perhaps as many as 3,000 prisoners, mostly Allied enlisted personnel. Although the camp was well-guarded and thorough searches were frequent, numerous tunneling projects were continually in progress. There were quite a few escapes, but most of the prisoners were recaptured. (2)

When the Allied prisoners of war learned of the Armistice, most were in a quandary as to what action to take. Under orders received earlier in the summer, most remained in their camps under the mistaken impression Allied forces would soon liberate them. Italian camp authorities also faced their own quandaries. Without clear orders as to what to do, many simply opened the gates to allow the prisoners to leave their camps. During the first days after the Armistice, perhaps as many as 50,000 prisoners remained in their camps and quickly became prisoners of the Germans. Another 30,000 left their camps. Some 16,000 were recaptured and 4,000 found safety in Switzerland. The remaining 10,000 found safety in hiding with the help of Italians, and many found their way back to Allied lines.

The Camp 59 Commandant, apparently a hard-core Fascist, at the Armistice placed his guards around the walls of the camp, ostensibly to “protect” the prisoners from the Germans but, in reality to detain them until the arrival of the Germans. (3) On September 14, it was rumored in the camp that the Germans were close by and at 10pm the Senior British Officer (SBO) gave the order to evacuate the camp. As the prisoners started towards the gate the guards opened fire, so the SBO went to the Commandant and asked (or perhaps threatened) that the guards be ordered to cease fire. The order was given over the loudspeaker system and the gates were opened. (4)

With the gates opened, the prisoners took off to get as far away as possible before the Germans arrived in the area. What follows are stories of some of the American soldiers and airmen who escaped from Camp 59 on September 14. All of them made it to the Allied lines, some in 1943 and others in 1944. During the process, some were recaptured, but escaped again to reach the Allied lines. As will be noticed, all of them received help from Italians. Without this help many of the escapers would have been recaptured and most likely ended up in a German prisoner of war camp for the duration of the war.

Private Anthony N. Proto

Private Anthony N. Proto, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, was captured near Tunis on December 23, 1942, when his unit was cut off without ammunition.

He escaped from Camp 59 on September 14 by climbing over the wall with Charles J. Stewart, Co. A, 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. Stewart, like Proto, had been captured near Tunis on December 23, 1942, when his unit was cut off without ammunition.

Walking south they reached a small town near Ascoli on September 17, where they were hidden and fed by the inhabitants who also dyed their uniforms and told them that there was a partisan band on Monte Fiore just south of Ascoli. Proto and Stewart joined this band on September 25, but left again about five days later when German troops moved into Ascoli and the partisans disbanded.

Three or four nights later they contacted an American parachutist [undoubtedly an Office of Strategic Services member of the SIMCOL operation undertaken by the Allies in October during the dark moon periods to assist escapers’ return to the Allied lines] who had been dropped behind the lines to assist escapers. He told them of a scheme for evacuating them by boat from the coast near Giulianova so they set off in that direction and reached the coast on October 6. Here they found about 60 other escapers waiting for evacuation. A large number of these were evacuated two days later, but there was no room for Proto and Stewart.

They stayed in the neighborhood and after a few days Proto, who could speak Italian, persuaded an Italian fisherman to take them and three other escapers to the Allied lines in his boat. The 13 hour journey was accomplished without event, and Proto and his companions reached Termoli (which had been liberated on October 3) on October 16. (5)

First Sergeant Karl Huddleston

First Sergeant Karl Huddleston, Co. A, 81st Reconnaissance Bn., 1st Armored Division, was captured at Sidi Bou Zid in Tunisia on about February 21, 1943, and eventually ended up at Camp 59.

On September 8, 1943, as soon as the news of the Armistice reached the camp, Huddleston took part in planning for the evacuation and dispersal of the camp and the collection of food for this purpose. Early in September, an Italian officer from Ancona got in touch with the Italian interpreter of the camp, unknown to the Camp Commandant, and asked for two prisoners of war to accompany him through the German lines to make contact with the British Forces.

Huddleston was one of the two chosen and on September 11, with Capt. Matheson of the British Army, scaled the wall during the confusion caused by an attempt on the part of the remaining prisoners to storm the gates. Guards fired on them as they left but failed to hit either of them. As arranged, they met the Italian officer who procured civilian clothes and set off on their journey south.

Travelling on foot and by train their route was via Montegiorgio, Porto San Giorgio, Pescara, Ortona, San Vito, Santa Cruce, and Istonio, which they reached on the morning of September 16. Here the Germans machine-gunned the train in order to compel the occupants to evacuate it, but the escapers were not injured and continued their journey by boat and on foot to Termoli where they procured a boat to take them to Bari and reported to Headquarters 15th Army Group. (6)

PFC Richard A. Wombacher

PFC Richard A. Wombacher, 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division, had been captured on December 1, 1942, when taking part in a landing near Bizerte behind the German lines in an attempt to cut the main road. Before reaching the road, they were attacked and surrounded by the enemy and forced to surrender after a few hours fighting.

On September 14 Wombacher left Camp 59 in company with five other American soldiers. The party walked south until they reached Falerone, where they stayed with Italian families until November 27. During this time truckloads of German SS troops combed the countryside for escaped POWs, but Wombacher and his companions managed to evade them. On November 27 the party set out again and walked for four days until they reached Santa Vittoria and here they stayed for a month due to bad weather and fatigue. At the end of this time, in spite of continued bad weather, Womacher, accompanied by T/4 John Ford, managed his way to Corvara. Here they were snowbound for 21 days in nine feet of snow. They stayed in a hay barn on the outskirts of the village and were given food by the townspeople.

On January 22 Wombacher and Ford left Corvara, walking eight or nine days to Gagliano going cross-country and avoiding villages. They spent from February 3 to March 23 in caves near this town and received food from the villagers. One day Ford and a South African who had joined them, went to Sulmona and contacted an escape organization. They were provided with clothes, shoes, maps and a compass and returned to Gagliano. After resting for a day and a half, they and Womabacher returned to Sulmona and spent two nights there at the headquarters of the organization.

Meanwhile, another group of escapers arrived and on March 23 Wombacher, Ford, and a party of 29 others left with a guide. They walked part of the evening and all that night, taking a route over Monte Maiella. The going was extremely difficult through deep snow and, being too weak to continue, Wombacher had to drop out. He and an American Air Force officer, 2nd Lt. Ellis A. Ruppelt (a pilot of a B-25 that had been shot down on August 27, 1943, and who had escaped by parachute from his burning aircraft over Benevento, Italy), made their way to Campo di Giove and remained there four days and nights in an abandoned church. The weather then improved and they again attempted to cross the Maiella Mountains.

They walked all night and at dawn found themselves overlooking Palena, which was occupied by the Germans. They hid in a cave all day and at 4pm on March 30 started down the road but almost immediately encountered a patrol of three Germans. They skirted back to the side of the mountain and walked four miles through an abandoned aqueduct, arriving at dusk at a point above the village of Torricella Peligna. After dark, they followed a road into Lama dei Peligni and encountered a British outpost. (7)

Private Daniel J. McNally

Nineteen-year-old Private Daniel J. McNally, Co. A, 6th Armored Infantry, 1st Armored Division, was captured about eight miles from Tunis on December 6, 1942, and eventually ended up at Camp 59.

On September 14 he left the camp. Walking south alone he was able, after a few days, to exchange his uniform for civilian clothes and grew a mustache for further disguise. Continuing in the direction of the Allied Lines, McNally avoided all towns and highways and received food and shelter from friendly Italian farmers who also gave him news of the Allied advance. His journey was made without event until, as he neared the battle front, he unexpectedly came upon a German camp but was successful in making his way through it.

On October 18 he made his way through the enemy lines at Campobasso and joined British troops. (8)

Private Lawrence Danich

Private Lawrence Danich, Co. D, 2nd Bn., 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, was captured on February 15, 1943, during the fighting in the Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, after all four tanks of his company had been hit and put out of action by enemy fire and he himself had been wounded in the leg by shrapnel. He was taken to a hospital at Bari, Italy.

On April 1, 1943, Danich was moved to Camp 75 near Bari and remained there until the end of May when he was taken to Camp 59. During his stay in this camp Danich was punished for starting to dig an escape tunnel.

Danich left Camp 59 on September 14 in company with a Private Ellsworth. They decided to go towards Rome and walked in a southwesterly direction but on the third morning were advised by civilians to make for Pescara as it was expected that it would very shortly be taken by the Allies. Accordingly Danich and Ellsworth started off in the direction of Pescara, stopping at various small villages on the way to obtain shelter and food.

On September 21 they changed their uniforms for civilian clothes at a farmhouse and next day started the crossing of the Gran Sasso Mountains. It had been raining very heavily and on September 23 Danich became ill, running a high fever. An Italian doctor gave him medicine and hot packs but would not allow him to continue his journey with Ellsworth, who left alone.

The next day, September 24, the Germans searched the village and Danich was taken to a cave in the hills. While there he met Squadron Leader Nathaniel Nye, a RAF Chaplain from Camp 59, who stayed with him for a week. At the end of the week Danich left alone. Headed for Pescara, he stopped at villages for a day or two en route. On the way he was told by another escaper that the area was dangerous owing to the presence of many German troops in the vicinity. The next day he met a group of five Yugoslav escapers and joined up with them and stayed in the Ville of Carpineto for two days.

Then the Germans came to the town and Danich and his companions retreated into the mountains where they stayed in a shack from late October until March 3, 1944. During the latter part of their stay, from January onwards, the villagers were afraid to help them. The escapers were short of food and owing to the extreme cold suffered considerable hardship. Towards the end of February they heard rumors of a method of escape so on March 3 a party of about 20 formed and started off. They made a big semi-circle through the mountains and in five days got to within 10 miles of Chieti. Here they were told to proceed to Guardiagrele, in the foothills of the Maiella Mountains, where they would find a guide to take them through the lines.

Arriving at Guardiagrele they were unable to find the guide so split up and walked to a town just behind the lines. At a farmhouse on March 9, Danich met two British escapers who were going to attempt the crossing. He joined them and the three set out that night. Danich was now walking on his bare feet, as his shoes had fallen to pieces at Guardiagrele, and he was suffering considerable pain. The party passed through the first German outpost in the midst of a group of Italians and got by unnoticed. At the next outpost they were halted by a German sentry, but darkness enabled them to break away and run for it. Going through some barbed wire they sneaked past a third German outpost and were picked up by a British patrol early on the morning of March 10.

Danich was then taken to a British aid station for treatment before being sent back to join his own forces. (9)

Sgt. Theodore D. Drazkowski

Sgt. Theodore D. Drazkowski, 514th Bombardment Squadron, 376th Bombardment Group was captured when he bailed out of his crippled plane on the evening of January 11, 1943. He was taken on January 12 to Naples and on February 1, to Camp 59. Drazkowski, with seven others left the camp, through a breach in the wall. They proceeded on foot to Montefalcone and stayed with a friendly farmer for two days.

On September 28 he and three others left for Ascoli Piceno, reaching there on October 1 and contacting a partisan band who sheltered them for two days. Continuing south they met five American paratroopers [Office of Strategic Services members of the SIMCOL operation] near Penne who advised them of a projected boat evacuation between Pescara and Francavilla on the night of October 10. Drazkowski and his companion met another American escaper and the three of them proceeded on foot to Pescara were they obtained civilian clothes. That day they saw German troops searching the houses so retreated to the hills.

On the morning of October 10 two more American soldiers joined the party and all five walked to the rendezvous area. They waited there until 2am in the morning without result, so continued along the coast until they contacted a partisan band who fed and sheltered them for two days. After an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a boat, Drazkowski and one of his party left together to walk to the Allied Lines. They crossed the Maiella Mountains and walked south for 12 more days, reaching Torella on October 25 and staying there until October 31. On that date they passed through the enemy lines and contacted advanced Canadian troops on the morning of November 1, 1943, near Campobasso. (10)

PFC Harold S. Arneson

PFC Harold S. Arneson, Co. I, 181st Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division was captured in Tunisia while on daylight patrol with nine others when they ran into a German ambush of about 45 men and were forced to surrender. Arneson was taken to Tunis by train and from there he was flown to Palermo, handed over to the Italians and placed in Camp 98. On May 17, 1943, he was transferred to Camp 59.

Arneson, with PFC Arnold L. Anderson, escaped from Camp 59 on September 14. Anderson, 151st Field Artillery Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, had been captured by the Germans on March 10, 1943, in North Africa. On March 30 he was taken by plane to Palermo and handed over to the Italians who took him to Camp 98 where he remained for two days and was then transferred to Camp 59.

Arneson and Anderson walked about 10 miles until they came to a house where they were well received by an Italian family. They stayed here for a week, but seeing that the Italians were apprehensive about the treatment they might receive at the hands of the Germans should they be found sheltering escapers, they moved on. They travelled all that night on foot and the next day they came to another family who kept them for about three weeks. However here they could not get any news of Allied positions so they decided to move on.

They started off walking towards the front lines obtaining food and shelter wherever they could. They followed along the foothills of the mountains, crossing the Gran Sasso and the Maiella ranges. After making their way down to Pescara, they spent about a month trying to get through the German lines. Finally with the help of a guide they passed through the lines and succeeded in contacting British forces on December 26, 1943, near the town of Guardiagrele. (11)

Private Hilbert H. Balk

Private Hilbert H. Balk, No. 1 Commando, detached from 168th Infantry Regiment, was captured by the Germans in Tunisia on December 1, 1942, while on a mission to harass enemy transport and troops behind the lines at Biserto. He and nine other prisoners were flown to Palermo on December 2, 1942, and from there to Camp 66 at Capua.

On January 13, 1943, he was taken to Camp 59 where he remained until the time of the Armistice. On September 14 Balk left Camp 59 and, with two American companions, walked southwest to a town about 20 miles from camp. At this point his companions left him and he continued alone walking for two days to the town of Portella. Here he met two more American escapers and spent four days hiding with them in a dry river bed after which the party continued south, avoiding main roads and walking at night until they reached the vicinity of Ascoli.

At this point they were contacted by four paratroopers [members of the SIMCOL operation] who had been dropped behind the lines to aid escapers and told of a scheme to evacuate escapers from a beach one mile north of Giulianova. Guided by these paratroops they reached the rendezvous area on October 6. They gave the prearranged signals on the nights of October 7, 9, and 11 without result so Balk and other members of the party decided to work out their own evacuation.

One of the party persuaded an Italian fisherman to take them to Termoli and, in spite of the presence of German troops in the town, Balk and his companions successfully evaded them and boarded the boat on night of October 11 and reached Termoli on the morning of October 12, where they reported to Allied troops. (12)

Private Roland B. Light

Private Roland B. Light, Co. C, 18th infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division while attempting, with 30 other men of his regiment, to take a hill position near Medjez El Bab, in late December 1942, was captured by the Germans. They were removed to Tunis where they remained for four days, after which Light was removed to Sicily and placed in Camp 98. He remained at this camp for one month and in the early part of February was taken to Italy by boat and then by train to Camp 59.

On September 14 Light with four other prisoners escaped from the camp and set out for the woods where they remained in hiding for three weeks. At the end of this period the party separated and Light and a companion set out on foot and worked their way to Pescara. They crossed the Pescara River without incident in a small boat and travelled on until they reached Chieti. While in Chieti they had their British battle-dress uniform dyed black and received help from an American citizen living in the town. On learning that the Fascist Headquarters was in Chieti, they lost no time in leaving and heading southwest. He and his companion reached a point north of Ortona, where they were picked up by the Germans, who mistook them for Italians and put them to work.

That night the two men slipped away from their guards and headed for Allied Lines. On December 29, 1943, they met an advance party of Canadians in the vicinity of Tollo. (13)

Private Lawrence J Rizzo

Private Lawrence J Ruzzo, 2nd Bn, 509th Parachute Regiment, at the time of the Italian Armistice was a POW in Camp 59, having been captured on December 28, 1942, while trying to get back to the Allied lines after an attack on a bridge at El Djem, Tunisia.

On September 14 Ruzzo with 30 other Americans travelled south until 3am, when the party split up to facilitate travel and Ruzzo with Sgt. Russell Jobusch (formerly of Co. A, 168th Regiment, 34th Infantry Division, attached at time of capture to No. 1 Commando (British), had been captured on December 1, 1942, during a raid on an enemy strong point near Bizerta) and Private John Savageau (509th Parachute Regiment, who had been captured December 27, 1942, during an attack on a bridge behind enemy lines at El Djem, Tunisia) set off in a southeasterly direction.

Travelling always by night and hiding in the daytime, the party bypassed Ascoli and passed west of Chieti resting three days at a small village. The party then walked to a village west of Orta Nova, where they were shown a track which took them to the advancing British troops. (14)

T/Sgt. William A. Madunich

T/Sgt. William A. Madunich, 513th Bombardment Squadron, 376th Bombardment Group, had been captured by Italian soldiers when he was forced to bail out of a crippled bomber near Santa Maria, Italy on July 18, 1943.

On September 14 Madunich, accompanied by two other Americans left Camp 59 and walked south to Santa Vittoria, where they were fed and sheltered by friendly Italian peasants. While here he heard of a plan to evacuate escapers by boat from the coast near the mouth of the Menocchia River, but when he reached the rendezvous area the plan had been discovered and no boats arrived. Madunich then returned to Montelpero, where he met another American escaper and after two weeks they decided to set out for the Allied lines.

Reaching Sant’Elpidio, they were taken in by a friendly Italian family and stayed with them for three months. On February 1, 1944 Fascists entered the house and took Madunich to the civil prison at Ascoli Piceno, where he was kept for 23 days before being moved, on February 23, to a POW Camp at Aquila.

On the night of March 1 approximately 400 prisoners were loaded into box cars, to be taken north by rail. That night several prisoners were shot for attempting to escape through the floor of the car. The next night another attempt to escape was made and one American prisoner was killed and his body dragged in full view of the prisoners before being buried alongside the track. That same night Madunich and several others escaped through a vent in the roof of the car. He travelled with two other American soldiers, but on March 8 separated from them as he was barefooted and unable to continue in the snow at their pace.

Travelling alone he went through Umbertide and Gubbio to Fabriano, where a priest gave him a pair of shoes and took him to a partisan band. He stayed with the band and took part in several raids against the Germans before the band was forced to scatter. Madunich set out for Sant’Elpidio where he remained in hiding until June 26. On that date, after being informed that the Allies had taken Porto San Giorgio, Madunich walked south to contact them, arriving on June 28. (15)

Private Edward M. Greenberg

Private Edward M. Greenberg, HQ Co., 1st Bn., 18th Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, was captured on December 23, 1942 at Medjez el Bab, Tunisia.

On September 14 he took part in the mass exodus from Camp 59. With two companies he walked across country to a village a few miles southwest of Ascoli Piceno. While hiding in a civilian home for eight days, he received information that all escapers were heading for Monte dei Fiori and an Italian captain told him that several thousand escapers had joined the partisans in the hills.

Greenberg spent a week with the partisans who were then ordered to retreat, so he and his companions headed in a southeasterly direction. Some civilians told the party of four paratroopers [members of the SIMCOL operation] who had been dropped behind the lines to aid escapers. Greenberg and his companions were conducted to these paratroopers who told them of a scheme to evacuate them from a beach just north of Giulianova. Guided by the paratroopers the party reached the rendezvous area on the night of October 6. They gave the pre-arranged signals on the nights of October 7, 9, and 11 without result, so Greenberg and other escapers of the party decided to work out their own evacuation.

One of the party persuaded an Italian fisherman to take them to Termoli and, in spite of the presence of German troops in the town, Greenberg and his companions successfully evaded them and boarded the boat on the night of October 11 and reached Termoli on the morning of October 12, where they reported to Allied troops. (16)

Sgt. William P. Hancock, Jr.

Sgt. William P. Hancock, Jr., 441st Bombardment Squadron, 320th Bombardment Group, was tail gunner on a B-26 which had as its mission the bombing of the marshalling yards at Villa Littorio. During the mission Hancock was forced to bail out from his crippled aircraft.

After remaining in hiding for two days, some civilians picked him up and took him to the local police. They took him to Camp 66 at Capua and later to Camp 59. On September 14 Hancock and three others left Camp 59 and started south, but were recaptured by the Germans when one of their party became ill. As the Germans were taking them to a prison camp, a P-51 strafed the column wounding Hancock who was then taken to an Italian hospital. On October 24 they were advised by Fascist guards that they were going to be taken to Germany.

One American and one South African tried to escape. On being discovered they raised their hands in token of surrender, but the Fascist shot the American soldier who died the next day. He attempted to shoot the South African but his pistol jammed. On December 28 the Germans loaded the POWs into a freight car. When the train started up Hancock and two others managed to force open a window and tear off the barbed wire, jump from the moving train and make their way into the woods. They met a former American who sheltered them and supplied them with maps.

On April 6, 1944, Hancock and two others were captured by Germans. They were taken to a POW Camp where they remained for a month and then moved to Camp 82 at Laterina. On June 17 the Allied push forced the Germans to evacuate the camp and Hancock, taking advantage of the confusion of moving, remained behind although the area was swept with machine gun fire and hard grenades thrown in. That night they moved into the hills where a partisan band took them in until July 5, when they contacted Allied forces near Siena. (17)

S/Sgt. George H. Tucker

S/Sgt. George H. Tucker, 96th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, on July 14, 1943, was forced to bail out over the Straits of Messina when his plane was hit by flak. He was captured by Italians who took him to PW Camp 66 at Capua where he remained for one month, and then removed to Camp 59.

On September 14 Tucker left Camp 59 in the company of S/Sgt. Kingsland. They headed for the hills and an Italian who told them to stay in his home until the Allies reached that area. They agreed and stayed with this family until October 15, when they again headed towards the lines at Cassino. They arrived in the Germans lines near Cassino, but were captured at the Volturno on December 3 and returned to a prison at Spoleto. They stayed here for six weeks. Once here Tucker escaped and again attempted to pass thru the German lines, but was again captured at Sulmona on April 6. He was returned to a prison camp at Laterina (Camp 82) where he remained until June 18. He and his friend escaped once more and took to the hills and headed once more for the front. On July 5 they made contact with Allied Troops at Pelasola, just south of Florence. (18)

Additional Resources

Additional information about the airmen mentioned above can be located at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, in the Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs), 1942–1947 (National Archives Identifier: 30526), in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92. Typically, a MACR gives some or all of the following kinds of information about each crew member: Name, Rank, Service number, Crew position, and, name and address of next of kin. The report also usually indicates the following: Army Air Forces organization to which the aircraft was assigned, place of departure and destination of the flight plan, weather conditions and visibility at the time of loss, cause of crash, type, model, and serial number of the aircraft and its engines, and kinds of weapons installed and their serial numbers. Some MACR case files include the names of persons with some knowledge of the aircraft’s last flight. In some cases these are rescued or returned crew members. Most reports do not contain all of the above information, especially those prepared in 1943 and 1947.

Also useful for biographical information about the American soldiers and airmen mentioned above is the series of records, at the National Archives, entitled Identity Cards for American Prisoners of Italian Army (Entry UD 1024), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, Record Group 331. These records were created in 1942 and 1943 and acquired from the Italian Government by the Allied Screening Commission (Italy). The series consists of preprinted 5” x 8” cards labeled “Scheda Personale P.G.” The “P.G.” denotes Prigione di Guerra (Prison of War) and Scheda Personale translates as Personal Card. The cards pertain to American prisoners of war of the Italians. The cards have places for information about the prisoner of war. The information provided, in most instances, is the name, name of father and mother, Army serial number, branch of service, date of birth, birthplace, nationality, marital status, religion, profession, address, and, date and place of capture. On the reverse side, prisoner of war camp information is provided. The American prisoners of war were captured during 1942 and 1943 in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy.

Footnotes

(1) Memo, H. J. Byrnes, Maj., Officer Commanding, Allied Screening Commission (Italy) to G-2 (P/W), AFHQ, CMF, Subject: Allied prisoners of war held in Italian Concentration Camps prior to September 8th, 1943, January 15, 1945, File 2-5 Correspondence with G-2 (PW) AFHQ CMF File July 1944–March 1945, General Correspondence, Entry UD 1004, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, Record Group 331.

(2) Lt. Edwin R. Korth, 2nd Lt., A.C., Prisoner of War Camp Conditions Report-Italy, MIS-X Section, POW Branch, July 23, 1943, File: Italy-6950, “Regional File,” 1922–1944, Entry 77, Military Intelligence Division, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, Record Group 165.

(3) Memo, P. V. Holder, Maj., A. C., Comdg. Headquarters, 2621 Platoon (Special) (Overhead) to Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [First Sergeant Karl Huddleston, US Army], October 25, 1944, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944-June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; [ ], Black List No. 1, n.d., ca. August, 1944, File 3-5 Black Lists, Entry UD 1004, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(4) Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Lawrence J. Ruzzo], December 3, 1944, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Anthony N. Proto], December 3, 1944, ibid.; [ ], Black List No. 2, September [ ], 1944, File 3-5 Black Lists, Entry UD 1004, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(5) The SIMCOL operation was commanded by Lt. Col. A. C. (Tony) Simonds, head of the Cairo office of M.I.9 (technically, “N” Section of “A” Force). The operation to help escapers was set in motion in the beginning of October 1943. The plan was to drop uniformed parties by parachute along the Italian coast where they would contact ex-prisoners of war and escort or direct them to four preselected rendezvous points on the coast. At those points they would be met at prearranged times by parties coming by sea who would embark them to Allied territory. The troops forming the operational parties were drawn from the First Airborne Division (British), the 2 Special Air Service Regiment, the Office of Strategic Services (part of an Operational Group, consisting of Italian-Americans), and No. 1 Special Force of Special Operations Executive (SOE). The SOE personnel would be involved in the SIMCOL seaborne operations, under the Senior Naval Officer Landing Adriatic.

(6) Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Anthony N. Proto], December 3, 1944, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Charles J. Stewart], December 3, 1944, ibid.

(7) Memo, P. V. Holder, Maj., A. C., Comdg. Headquarters, 2621 Platoon (Special) (Overhead) to Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [First Sergeant Karl Huddleston, US Army], October 25, 1944, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(8) Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [PFC Richard A. Wombacher], January 5, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(9) Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Daniel J. McNally], December 3, 1944, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(10) Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Lawrence Danich], February 15, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(11) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Sgt. Theodore D. Drazkowski], May 29, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(12) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [PFC Harold S. Arneson], May 29, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [PFC Arnold L. Anderson], May 31, 1945, ibid.

(13) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Hilbert H. Balk], June 2, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(14) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Roland B. Light], May 28, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(15) Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Lawrence J. Ruzzo], December 3, 1944, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private John Savageau], December 3, 1944, ibid.; Memo, Richard N. Tandler, Lt. Col., A.C. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal Sergeant Russell Jobusch], December 3, 1944, ibid.

(16) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [T/Sgt. William A. Madunich], June 3, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(17) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Private Edward M. Greenberg], June 3, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(18) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [Sgt. William P. Hancock, Jr.], June 24, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

(19) Memo, Philip V. Holder, Lt. Col., GSC. G-2 (P/W) Section, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Subject: Recommendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal [S/Sgt. George H. Tucker], June 27, 1945, Bronze Star Medal Recommendations Oct. 1944–June 1945, Entry UD 1021C, Allied Screening Commission (Italy), Records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy) and Prisoner of War Claims Screening Commission, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s