At left, Oscar with wife Virginia E. Howell; at right, Oscar in 1940
Sergeants Oscar Ruebens and John Withers served in the same unit of the U.S. Army’s First Division in North Africa. In December 1942, they were captured together at Long Stop Hill. Both men were sent to P.G. 98 on Sicily and then transferred to P.G 59 Servigliano.
The friends left Camp 59 together during the mass breakout on September 14, 1943, and they made their way to the Allied lines in less than two months.
I first posted about Oscar on this site in February of last year, “Oscar Ruebens—Snapshots from the Past.”
I have since been in touch with Oscar’s youngest daughter, Laura Turner, who kindly sent me snapshots, news clippings, and documents. I will share some of these in separate posts.
For this post, I am sharing Oscar and John’s repatriation reports.
Mentioned briefly in Oscar’s report is John Turner. I believe this is John Leon Turner (“John Leon Turner, Royal Canadian Air Force“).
The POW repatriation reports were prepared during WW2 by MIS-X Section, POW Branch of the U.S. War Department.
The reports are courtesy of the United States Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama.
Oscar C. Ruebens
EX-Report No. 65
16 Dec 43
Sgt. Oscar C. Ruebens, 12016749, Co. C, 18th Inf., 1st Div.
From – Camp 59, Servigliano, Italy
Missing in action – [not recorded]
Date of capture – 23 Dec 42
Reported P/W – 9 Jan 43
Escape – 14 Sep 43
Rejoined Allied forces – 11 Nov 43
At – South of Atessa, 78th Div.
Previous in interrogation – Br. I.O. Hq.; Am. I.O. at Bari; Am. I.O. at 23rd; Repl Bn., Algiers
Arrived in USA – 8 Dec 43, Newport News, Va.
Home address – R.D. #1, Shortsville, N. Y.
Age – 23
Length of service – 3 yrs., 2 mo.
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