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PG66 in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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    Those known to have been held in or employed at


    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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    Earnest Cooper Leicestershire Regiment

    My late father; Earnest Cooper, 4868237, Leicestershire Regt was captured in North Africa after the Battle of Kasserine (1943) and was first imprisoned in PG66 at Capua, then transferred to Stalag XVIIB following the Italian armistice.

    Ian Cooper

    Albert Pearson Leicestershire Regiment

    My late father, Albert Pearson was a prisoner in Stalag IVB, prisoner number 227929. He arrived there via camp 66, Capua, Italy. He was in the Leicestershire Regiment, number 4868471, captured in North Africa early in 1943.

    He spoke very little about his time in the camps, but he did say they woke one morning to find the German guards gone, and lots of Russians on horseback. He and two others then spent some time roaming around the area, spending some time in a railway station. On one occasion a local family with several daughters offered them shelter, my Dad felt this was to try to protect themselves from the Russians. They declined the offer, also fearful of the Russians. They were later rounded up by the Americans and brought back to England. I'm not sure how.

    I would be very interested if any one knew him or could fill in some of the missing information. Thank you.

    Mick Pearson

    Bdr. John Stewart Wibberley Royal Artillery

    My dad, Jack Wibberley, talked about being in the Eighth Army, and about visiting Cairo. He was captured at Tobruk in June 1942 and was taken to Italy where he was a POW in the following camps:
    • 85 Turturano near Brindisi
    • 87 Stalia
    • 66 Capua
    • 68 Vetralia
    • 73 Fossoli of Carpi
    • 53 Sforzacosta
    I know he escaped from one of the camps with a friend Mac. He was taken in by a farming family & lived with them. One day when working in the fields he was challenged & beaten with rifles by some Axis troops - he agreed to meet them in the market in Naples the next day & bring another POW with him. Needless to say, he didn't do that! [I read a report he wrote about this when I was about 13, but that report wasn't in family papers when we cleared the family house] In June 1944 his war record states he was known to have reached Southern Italy & was in Allied hands. By August 1944 he had returned to England & was in Liverpool Transit Camp He was posted to Clacton on Sea in Essex where he was part of the Heavy Ack Ack Battery. In the NAAFI there he met my mum Ada Letch who was in the ATS. They got married in December 1945. He died in 1958 and my mum died in 1980.

    I would love to know if anyone remembers him - he was always known as Jack.

    Jan Kitchin

    Cpl. Ernest Albert "Chalky" White 5th Battalion Hampshire Regiment

    Having been captured by the Germans in Tunisia on 27 February, 1943 my father, Ernie White, was handed over to the Italians and embarked on an Italian ship at Bizerta for Naples and then by train to PG 66 at Capua.

    He received his first letter from his wife, Iris, on 15 May, enclosing a photo of herself taken in February 1943. On 16 June he was moved to PG 82 at Laterina. On 23 August another move took him to a working camp - No. 82/XV at Borgo san Lorenzo - where he worked on building a sugar refinery.

    On 8 September 1943 Italy signed the Armistice and the prisoners of war finished work the next day. The Italians deserted the camp and the prisoners, having heard (false) reports of Allied landings at Ancona and Leghorn, fled into the countryside. After 3 days of liberty Ernie bumped into a column of German tanks and was recaptured (13 September)and taken the following day to an evacuated officers' camp at Bologna. On 16 September 1943 Ernie, along with many other P.O.W.s, were herded into railway horse trucks and after a nightmare journey of 4 days and nights via the Brenner Pass arrived at Stalag VIIIA in Gorlitz in Lower Silesia.

    Hilary Spon

    Pte. Leslie Masterman Yorks & Lancs

    My grandad, Leslie Masterman (1923-2002), from Leeds, served as a Private in the Yorks/Lancs Regiment during the Second World War. He was a POW in Italy and Germany after being captured by German troops in Tunisia in 1943. The following is what my family and I have pieced together from the few bits of information he gave us: Pte Masterman, L 4758866 He was taken to camp PG66 in Italy, which (with help from the internet) appears to have been in Capua. We got this number from a photograph: PG66PM3400. The first four digits aside, we're not sure what the numbers mean. He also stayed at camp PG53 (Campo Concentremento 53. Sforzacosta). Hewas moved to Germany, where he (as far as we can tell) stayed at camp PG78 (location unknown), before being squashed into an open rail truck and taken to Stalag 357 (in Oerbke, I think). He spent time at Stalag 4DZ near Annaburg. (Again, we got this number from a photograph, but we're not sure what it means: 226387 D602.) I think it was here where he was forced to work on repairing a damaged railway line near an ammunition factory (which was regularly bombed by the RAF). He was certain they were sent to work there to reduce numbers, and many men died working there. He, along with two other prisoners (Trooper Walter Rowley and Lance Corporal James "Busty" Speight), fled Stalag 4DZ on April 14, 1945. The day before they fled, they were told by a British R.A.M.C major that the whole camp was to be marched east the following day. The march began and suddenly the air raid sirens sounded. As Allied planes swooped to strafe a nearby airfield, the three of them made a run for it, taking with them two of the German sentries (they told them they would make it all right for them with the Americans, who were rumoured to be getting closer).

    In the village of Nienburg, they told the local Burgomaster that they had been sent to make their way back to camp. A German girl who had been a worker in the camp kitchen helped my grandad and the other POW's by tipping them off about the Burgomaster being suspicious. He had sent for the SS, who were to arrive the next morning. The German girl also told them the way to the American lines, so they pulled out quickly and eventually found an American patrol near Halle (Saale). The Americans took some convincing that they were British POW's, but they eventually realised they were genuine and couldn't make them more welcome. They later learned that the guards who stayed behind were shot by the SS for assisting them to escape. My grandad returned home to Leeds on a Tuesday in May 1945. There are an awful lot of gaps that I'd love to fill in, and he probably stayed at a few more POW camps. I'm unsure where he was when at the end of the war but think it's most likely to be Stalag 4DZ in Annaburg. I have no idea how much time he spent at any one camp. I also have no idea how he travelled from Tunisia to Italy after being captured. I know the prisoners marched for many miles through Italy and traveled in open army trucks up through Germany to the North East. If anyone has information about ANYTHING I have mentioned above, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

    Tom Masterman

    WO Douglas C.W. Mallett

    On 28 January 1944, during World War II, the Orvieto North railway bridge at Allerona, Italy, was the site of the inadvertent bombing by the American 320th Bombardment Group of a train filled with Allied prisoners. Most of the POWs had come from Camp P.G. 54, Fara in Sabina, 35 kilometres to the north of Rome, and had been evacuated in anticipation of the Allied advance.

    One of the men on the train, Richard Morris of the U.S. Army, wrote that the train was halted on the bridge over the river when the Allied bombs started to fall, and that the German guards fled the train, leaving the prisoners locked inside. Many escaped, Morris included, through holes in the boxcars caused by the bombing, and jumped into the river below.

    Historian Iris Origo wrote that 450 were killed when the cars ultimately tumbled into the river.

    He was captured at the Desert campaign. He survived the wreck with broken ribs with loss of blood from respiratory tract. He was previously at Camp 66 and was sent to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf.

    S Flynn

    Gnr. Arthur Joscelyne Royal Artillery

    Arthur Joscelyne was captured in the Desert campaign. He suffered a fractured upper leg and head wounds in the train wreck on the Orvieto North railway bridge at Allerona, Italy. He was previously at Camp 66 and was sent to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf.

    s flynn

    Cpl. Harold James Daum Company C 805th Tank Destroyer Btn.

    Jim Daum was captured at Kasserine Pass and taken to #66 Capuia, Italy on the 25th of Feb 1943 and was held there until the 8th of March. He arrived at Stalag 7a on the 12th of March and on the 22nd was moved to Stalag 3b where he was held until the 1st of February 1945. On the 10th he was moved to Stalag 3a. He was released by the Russians on the 23rd of April 1945 and died in Germany after the war on the 1st of November 1947.

    James Daum

    John A. Fleming

    My father John A. Fleming was a British POW in Italian camps around 1941-1943 at Camp 66, Camp 49 and Camp 17. He escaped with fellow POWs Dan Billany, David Dowie and Alex Harding. He was later captured and sent to Oflag 9.

    M Filban

    Spr. Roger Collinson Royal Engineers

    February 1943


    21st Feb - 04.30hrs - Moved from Bivvy area to front line between Kasserine and Thala. I went with OC as batman, runner, fighter, clerk together with HQ personnel, Bill Ford, Clark, Armitage and Tubby Bastard. Section 1 and 2 set up mortar positions, dug in and prepared to support boys of Leicesters. Tanks still retreating from Kasserine towards Thala Road. Stuck in mud - dug slit trench. Dug hole for rations and comoflaged them. We prepared for night vigil. Reported Germans approaching. 1st army tanks still retreating in valley in front of us. 19.50hrs Tried to contact brigade Headquarters (HQ) over wireless - No Contact. HQ informed that German tanks approaching about 200 yards away. No action taken. German voices on hill beyond road firing over us. Germans speaking English "Come out boys". Took most of section 1 and 2 prisoners including Ernie, Dave, Bill, O.C. Bill , Jerry and I about 21.00hrs. Left all rations. Germans anxious to get Tommy gun and ammo. Most anxious moment when I was ordered to proceed to the road with hands up expecting a bullet, but Germans proved likeable men or at least soldiers. Congregated on the road and marched about 2 miles with other troops to a compound and stayed the night. Learned we had been captured by Rommel's Africa Korps in the battle of Kasserine Pass.

    Caught as POW on the 21st Feb 1943 in Tunisia

    17th March - Arrived at Campo Concentramento P.G. 66

    16th June - Travelling - Supposed to have travelled through Rome - Arrived at Campo Concentramento

    22nd Sept 1943- Arrives at Stalag 7a

    2, 3 & 4 Nov - Cold and damp Moved from Stalag VIIA (Moosburg)

    Arrived Stalag XVIIA - 3.11.43 Wilflingdorf (Kaisersteinbruck) 5th Nov - Paraded for identification received first POW Number 154111.

    David Mottershead

    Pte. Norman Warf 16th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

    Norman Warf was captured at Sedjenane in Tunisia in February 1943. He was transported to Italy and held in Camp 66 Capua. Then he was sent to Camp 82. After the Italian surrender Norman was transported to Stalag 8a and then, in November, to Stalag 8b Lamsdorf. He worked on railways and in mines. Norman survived the long march and was liberated by the Americans in May 1945.

    Mark Burton

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