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John Everett, Jr. e-mailed me last week that his sister, Sandra Everett Barnett, reminded him of another bit of information their father had shared with her, but that was not included in his written story:

“My Dad had said that food was scarce in the camp, and once more the Italian families came through for them. Apparently, a couple of near-by farmers would toss a few potatoes over the fences around the barracks at night for the soldiers. He said that it was about the only food they had sometimes.”

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Nazareno Lupi and his wife, whose family hid John Everett and Willis Largent for over nine months. John received this picture after the war from the Lupi family.

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John Everett (with arms crossed) and two comrades.

Two weeks ago I received these photographs and the following story from John O. Everett, Jr.

He wrote, “Dad’s story is in the form of a submission he and I made to TNT years ago when they were focusing on soldiers’ stories one Memorial Day weekend. I had sat down with my Dad several times to obtain the timeline and other details for the story, and it was completed and submitted a year before he died. Although TNT did not include his story during the broadcast, I am so glad that I documented his experience so that I can provide the details to you.”

John O. Everett, Sr. passed away in 1995.

It’s a pleasure to share his story, and it’s my hope that the gratitude he wished to send to the Lupi family by way of the TNT broadcast will find it’s way to them somehow through this site.

John Everett and Willis Largent were both interned in Hut 4–Section 11—the section of men Armie Hill was assigned when he was transferred to the camp.

Here is John’s tale, which he named “The Unsung WWII Heroes of Italy: A POW’s Story.”

The Unsung WWII Heroes of Italy:
A POW’s Story

“What the hell part of the world are you from?”

I still remember this question asked of three scruffy American soldiers in June, 1944 by an officer in the South African Army near Foggia, Italy. The rags that served as our clothing were part U.S. Army issue, part Italian farmer, and our boots had more holes than leather. And yet we were happy, we were safe, and we owed our lives to an Italian family that hid four prisoners of war from the Germans for over nine months.

The history books tell us that Italy was our enemy during World War II. But you will never convince a number of POWs who owe their lives to the courage and generosity of several poor Italian families who shared when they had nothing to give.

World War II began for me when I was drafted in early 1942. I had originally volunteered for service in 1941, but was turned down due a problem with my legs. Like so many other health problems, mine was “reevaluated” when the fighting got hot and heavy in 1942.
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