Category Archives: Don Domenico Orlandini

Ermanno Finocchi to “Carlo” Orlandini


First page of a two-page letter from Ermanno Finocchi to Don Domenico “Carlo” Orlandini

Last week, Luigi Donfrancesco sent me an English translation he made of a letter I.S.9 agent Ermanno Finocchi sent to fellow agent Don Domenico Orlandini, whose agent name was “Carlo.”

“I found it interesting, as it shows details of Plan MILKY WAY and the way agents operated in setting up Rat-lines (Ratberry lines),” Luigi explained.

Here are introductory notes from Luigi in Italian and English, followed by the letter in both languages:

Nota. Scritto a matita su carta di quaderno a quadretti. E’ fra le “carte Stipa”, gentilmente fornite dal Dr. Luigino Nespeca di Offida nell’Agosto 2015.

Non c’è data, ma è stato scritto subito prima della partenza di Ermanno Finocchi per Milano (il 15 Marzo 1944 in camion, riferisce “Babka” nei suoi Diari). Quindi le “molte notizie di carattere doloroso” sono:

  • l’uccisione di Andrea Scattini a Force (8 marzo);
  • la cattura di Fausto Simonetti a Palmiano (9 marzo);
  • l’attacco alla banda partigiana “Paolini” a Rovetino e Rotella (9 marzo) e conseguente smantellamento della banda stessa;
  • l’attacco ed eliminazione della base “Rat-line” di Porchia (10 marzo), con ferimento e cattura di Diego Vecchiarelli e arresto di altri collaboratori;
  • l’uccisione nei pressi di Montalto Marche del Sergente Paracadutista Mario Mootis (sopravvissuto alla battaglia di El Alamein) e dei 3 prigionieri di guerra britannici che erano con lui (11 marzo).

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“Don Carlo”—The Unknown Hero


I.S.9 agent, partisan leader, and Catholic priest Don Domenico Orlandini “Don Carlo” in the uniform of a military chaplain of the Italian Army, 1945

Several posts on this site concern Italians who, during the war, served as agents for I.S.9 (Intelligence School 9)—also known as “A” Force.

I.S.9′s chief mission was support and rescue of escaped POWs and evaders (E&Es) stranded behind enemy lines. 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.

Last year researcher Brian Sims sent me a series of I.S.9 agent files from the British National Archives. Among the files, Don Domenico Orlandini’s lacks details contained in many of the others—parents, birthplace and residence, educational background, and so on. It does identify him as a priest, and offers this colorful description: “Fair. Medium build. Eyes deep-set. Very active & alert. High-pitched voice. (Smokes, drinks, gambles).”

See “I.S.9 Italian Agents, Part 4.”

Until recently, that was all I knew of Don Domenico. But recently two Italian authors wrote to me with further details.

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