The letter shown here and an accompanying list of Allied servicemen referred to in the letter are among many documents from the British National Archives that Brian Sims shared with me during our brief two-year friendship at the end of his life.
According to this communication, 51 ex-POWs were assisted by Domenico Mancini of “Monte Falcone” (presumably Montefalcone Appennino in the province of Fermo, in the Italian Marche).
There are two versions of the list, the first a carbon copy and the second a typed copy with some discrepancies and errors. Fortunately, it contains many service numbers that are useful in confirming some of the men’s identities.
The letter makes mention of the murder of prisoners at Comunanza (see “An Execution at Comunanza.”)
Here is the text of the letter, followed by the list of names:
H.Q., ‘A’ Group, 60 Section,
Special Investigation Branch,
c/o A.P.M’s Office, 61 Area,
Central Mediterranean Forces.
SUBJECT :- Ex-Prisoners of War.
60 Section, S.I.B.
1. Herewith a list of 51 ex-prisoners of war mostly members of the United States Army. The names may come in useful at some later date as the list was commenced on 2nd October, 1943. MANCINI, now residing at MONTE FALCONE (Italy, 1:200,000. Sheet 14. MR. X(B)5687), lived for over 20 years in America. Some of the names on the original document, which was obtained by Sergeant HOWARTH and BURGESS., are difficult to decipher and other possible interpretations have been included. I am retaining the original as it may be required as an exhibit in file 9A.
2. Reference Progress Report No. 2. on file 9A, paragraph 3, LOUIS LYCKA’s personal number would appear to be 38028716 from the enclosed list (No. 10), and possibly the American authorities can trace him from this and let us have some information regarding his activities.
Check of the other names may reveal some relevant information as it is believed that the British ex-prisoners in this case were exhumed and transferred to another cemetery in August 1944, and that the bodies of the Americans at COMUNANZA have been searched by American personnel. If this is correct the respective Second Echelons may have the names of these people.
D. A. THORN. Lieut.
60 Section, S.I.B.
29 Mar ’45.
Copy to :- File.