This undated newspaper photo was clipped and saved by British former prisoner-of-war Denis Crooks.

The source, the Evening Standard, is evidently the London Evening Standard.

The caption reads:

“‘Welcome Home’ Sign in Italy

“So many Allied officers and men are escaping through the enemy lines to the Eighth Army that directional signs have been put up for them. One of the signs in the village of Vinchiaturo.”

[The stenciled sign in the photo reads “ALLIED EX POW REPORT HERE.”]

Two Transfer of Personnel Documents

Document No. 1—November 3, 1943

The following “transfer of personnel” document—my father Sergeant Armie Hill’s “ticket home” after reunion with the Allied forces following his escape—was framed and proudly displayed on our living room wall for many years when I was a child.

Armie and his escape companion Ben Farley made it to the Allied lines in 31 days, having traveled an estimated 300 miles on foot through the mountains in order to evade recapture. They escaped on September 14 and arrived at the British Eighth Army line on October 15.

These eight men were the first prisoners to turn up, and Armie later said, “They didn’t know what to do with us.”

All eight escapees listed in this document escaped from Camp 59 in Servigliano.

U. S. CONFIDENTIAL EQUALS BRITISH CONFIDENTIAL

HEADQUARTERS
NORTH AFRICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
UNITED STATES ARMY
APO 534
CORRECTED COPY

/cvj
1 November 1943
[Stamped RECEIVED 3 Nov 1943 A.M. 23rd Repl. Bn.]

AG 210.482/198-AGP

SUBJECT: Transfer of Personnel
TO: Commanding Officer, 23rd Replacement Battalion

1. Having escaped from enemy territory, the following named enlisted men, formerly assigned to organizations indicated, will proceed on or about 3 November 1943, to Casablanca, Morocco, reporting to the Port Commandant for return to the United States by first available surface transportation. Upon arrival in the United States, they will report to the Commanding General, Port of Embarkation, who will assign them to a reception center near their home and will report their assignment to The Adjunct General, Washington, D.C.:

Sgt Armie S. Hill – 36200720 – Co D 19th Engrs
Sgt Frank J. Mikes – 36306882 – 168th Inf Regt, 34th Div
Sgt Willis C. Pirnie – 37042466 – 168th Inf Regt, 34th Div
Pvt Charles Stewart – 6973874 – 18th Inf, 1st Div
Pvt Anthony N. Proto – 19012836 – 18th Inf, 1st Div
Pvt Daniel J. McAnally – 13078670 – 6th Armd Inf, 1st Armd Div
Pvt Benjamin F. Farley – 15054958 – 39th Inf 9th Div
Pvt John A. Ward – 12005278 – Co A, 18th Inf, 1st Div

2. Each is granted a furlough of twenty (20) days effective after arrival in the United States and before proceeding to permanent station.

3. Travel by belligerent vessel, commercial steamship, army transport, naval vessel and/or rail is authorized. Travel by military aircraft from this station to Casablanca, Morocco, is authorized. Rations in kind will be provided.

4. TCNT TDN 1-5600 P 431-02 A 0425-24.

By command of General EISENHOWER:

[signed]
Ben L. Hill, R. E. L.
1st Lt., A. G. D.,
Asst Adjunct General.

DISTRIBUTION:
Ea EM … 4
TAG … 1
CG 34th Inf Div … 1
CG 9th Inf Div … 1
CG 1st Inf Div … 1
CG Twelfth AF … 1
CO 19th Engrs … 1
CO 23rd Repl Bn … 1
AC of S G-1 … 1
AC of S G-2 … 1
G-4 M & T (Air) … 3
AG Records … 1
AG 201 File … 8

U. S. CONFIDENTIAL EQUALS BRITISH CONFIDENTIAL

Document No. 2—July 13, 1944

This second transfer order is provided by Alan Rosenblum. The men listed on the order include his father, Staff Sergeant Albert Rosenblum.

Of the 26 men listed in this transfer document, 10 are identified in the U.S. National Archives database of WW II prisoners as having escaped from Camp 59.

They are: Maurice W. Cox, Albert T. Rosenblum, Michael J. Rotunno, Manuel C. Brava, Edward D. Hasman, John A. Novotny, Dale E. Bechtel, LeRoy C. David, Willie H. Ash, and William W. Hurley.

Thirteen of the 26 are listed as former prisoners in the database, but no camp is listed for them. Of those 13, two—John E. Riley and Glen E. Backe—are listed in Luther Shield’s “Dual Purpose Deck of Cards.” (In Luther’s deck, Backe is listed as Glenn S. Backe.) Since Luther escaped from Camp 59 and was not recaptured, it is likely these men were recorded on his playing cards while they were in Camp 59.

In the National Archives, Sam S. Mirabello is listed as S. S. Mirabello with a different serial number (150U9586 instead of 12009586); no camp in listed for him.

Ernest C. Ellis is listed as having been in Camp 21 Chieti (but he is also listed in Luther’s deck, so it is likely he was in Camp 59 at one time). Kenneth E. Lightbody is listed as having been in Camp 204 Altamura Italy 41-16. Carl Anderson is listed as having been in Military Hospital #75, Bari Italy 41-17.

CONFIDENTIAL

MP – 945

HEADQUARTERS
NORTH AFRICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
UNITED STATES ARMY
APO 534

/bt
13 July 1944

AG 210.482/300-P

SUBJECT: Orders.
To: All Concerned.

1. The following named personnel, formerly of organizations indicated, having escaped from enemy custody, will proceed without delay to the First Replacement Depot, reporting upon arrival to the Commanding Officer thereof for return to the United States by first available surface transportation. Upon arrival in the United States, they will report to the Commanding General, Port of Debarkation, who will assign them to a reception center near their home and report their arrival and assignment to The Adjutant General, Washington, D. C.

1st Sgt Maurice W. Cox, 37042565, No. 1 Commandos
S/Sgt Albert T. Rosenblum, 6701591, 18th Inf, 34th Div
Sgt. Michael J. Rotunno, 12018732, 18th Inf, 1st Armd Div.
Sgt. Ernest C. Ellis, 37003120, 1st Armd Regt, 1st Armd Div.
Sgt. Manuel C. Brava, 6906252, 18th Inf Regt., 1st Div.
Sgt. Edward D. Hasman, 12017502, 18th Inf Regt, 1st Div.
Sgt. John E. Riley 6891870, 16th Engr Bn, 1st Div.
Sgt. John A. Novotny, 35119503, 18th Inf, 34th Div.
Sgt. William K. Monio, 20707523, 133rd Inf, 34th Div.
Sgt. Dale E. Bechtel, 20704893, No. 1 Commandos
Sgt. Glen E. Backe, 20707535, 133rd Inf, 34th Div.
Cpl. LeRoy C. David, 20717605, Nc. 1 Commandos
Cpl. Frederick Proffer, 32059912, 13th Armd Regt, 1st Armd Div.
Cpl. Lester H. Meyer, 37091888, 81st Armd Recon Bn, 1st Armd Div.
Cpl. Gilbert D. Loonam, 32109660, 39th Inf Cannon Co, 9th Inf Div.
Cpl. James L. Connelly, 10600185, 135th Inf, 34th Div.
Tec 5 I. B. Tackett, 15055153, 1st Armd Regt, 1st Armd Div.
[Not: listed in the U.S. National Archives database of WW II prisoners of war as J. B. Tackett.]
Tec 5 Donald H. Steiner, 36231111, Div Hq., 1st Armd Div.
Tec 5 Stanley R. Stawikoski, 37019068, Co G, 6th Armd Inf.
Tec 5 Kenneth E. Lightbody, 39163670, 1st Armd Regt, 1st Armd Div.
Tec 5 Harold F. Jensen, 3709197, 81st Armd Recon Div.
[Note: Harold F. Jensen is listed in the U.S. National Archives database of WW II prisoners of war, but his serial number is listed as 37091797.]
Tec 5 Carl Anderson, 15010557, 19th Engr Regt.
Pfc. Willie H. Ash, 35250761, 5th FA Bn, 1st Inf Div.
Pfc. William W. Hurley, 38064103, 81st Armd Recon, 1st Armd Div.
Pfc. Russell Lundstrom, 37025693, 133rd Inf, 34th Div.
Pfc. Sam S. Mirabello, 12009586, 26th Inf, 1st Div.

CONFIDENTIAL

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