Luther and Anna Vaughn
Adele, Loredana, and Francesca share old family photos with Judy Ingersoll during Judy and Victoria’s 2006 visit in Italy.
In January 2007, when I first set out to research the story of Camp 59, I made contact with Ian McCarthy of Associazione Casa della Memoria—the memorial association of Camp 59 in Servigliano, Italy.
Ian provided historical background about the camp, and he put me in touch with Judy Ingersoll and Victoria Vaughn, two daughters of American serviceman Luther C. Vaughn. Like my father, Luther had been a POW in Camp 59.
Victoria and Judy had recently been to Italy to see the camp and meet members of the Italian family that hid and fed Luther after his escape from P.G. 59.
On March 8, Victoria wrote, “How thrilling to hear from you! It is like hearing from a long-lost brother, as our fathers were brothers in arms.
“Dad was in the 1st Armored Division, 27th Field Artillery. He was a staff sergeant on a half-track. He deployed out of Fort Knox, Kentucky. His name was Luther Claude Vaughn, and I think his nicknames were “Ark,” “L.C.,” and who knows what else. He was captured at Tabourba, Tunisia, on December 6, 1942.
“On our visit to Servigliano, we met one family member who was living when Dad was there, as well as the descendants who were the warmest and most wonderful people.
“In 1943, Luigi and Lucia Cesari had three children: Renzo, Francesca, and Elena. Their son Pacifico had died in the war.
“Renzo married Adele, and their sons are Claudio and Pierluigi. Claudio is married to Laura, and Matteo is their son. Pierluigi is married to Enrica, and their daughter is Genny.
“Loredana is Francesca’s daughter.
“It was fascinating that everywhere we went in the area, people who heard our story recalled a GI who was with their families for some period of time. The Italians really seemed to embrace our POWs who escaped from Camp 59.