Private First Class George A. Payne
I received an e-mail on May 27 from Julie Payne Williams. Julie wrote she began an archive of the WW II experiences of her father, George Payne, in spring 2003. He passed away in December 2003.
George Payne was a prisoner in Camp 59.
Julie sent me a transcript of an interview she did with her father, photos of him, and documents pertaining to his capture and internment as a POW.
Julie asked whether I might be able to provide information on the Italian civilians who helped her father, the Tirabassi family.
“The Tirabassi family lived in Comunanza,” Julie wrote. “Dad could only remember the name of the father (Francesco, called Paco) and the oldest daughter, Maria. Paco had a wife and a younger daughter also. Maria was around 18—only a year younger than my dad—and a younger (blonde) daughter was around 11.
“Dad always wondered which members of the family, if any, survived the war. He carried around a lot of guilt his entire life from not knowing if they survived or, if they didn’t, if they were killed for helping him.