University Press Copublishing Division / Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-1-61147-997-3 • Hardback • October 2016 • $111.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-61147-999-7 • Paperback • April 2019 • $47.99 • (£37.00)
978-1-61147-998-0 • eBook • October 2016 • $45.50 • (£35.00)
Flavio Giovanni Conti is an independent historian. His book I prigionieri italiani negli Stati Uniti [Italian Prisoners of War in the United States] won the prestigious “De Cia” award in 2013.
Alan R. Perry is professor of Italian Literature and chair of the Department of Italian Studies at Gettysburg College.
2Arrival in the United States
3The Letterkenny Army Depot and the Italian Service Units
4American Public Opinion and the Italian POWs
5The Apostolic Delegate Amleto Cicognani’s First Visit to the Depot in October 1944
6Italian Americans, Women, and Letterkenny Co-operators
7The Treatment of Prisoners
8Letterkenny’s Chapel and Bell Tower Built by the Italian Prisoners
9Spring 1945: Brig. Gen. John M. Eager, Italian Ambassador Alberto Tarchiani Visit the Letterkenny Depot
10End of the War in Europe and the Pacific: Awaiting Repatriation
11Autumn 1945: The 321st ISU Battalion Returns Home
12Letterkenny’s Italian Veterans and Postwar Italy
13Back in the United States as Free Citizens
14Conclusion: The Letterkenny Legacy
Appendix AList of all Letterkenny POWs
Appendix BItalian Officers Detained at Letterkenny
Appendix CList of Italian American Civilians that Helped the POWs
Appendix DU.S. Army Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers at Letterkenny that Interfaced with the POWs
Appendix EMap of the Depot
The portrait that emerges is fascinating and remarkably positive; it's notable that Italian co-operators received a modest regular salary and more freedom than most POWs, even the liberty to leave their posts in groups chaperoned by American soldiers. Notes, appendices, and an index round out this welcome contribution to public and college library American history collections, highly recommended.
— Midwest Book Review
This...book serves as a memorial for several Italian POWs, all members of the Italian Service Unit 321st Quartermaster Battalion assigned to the Letterkenny Depot in central Pennsylvania during and after WW II. Based primarily on interviews, letters, testimonials, some background texts, and newspaper accounts from the region, it outlines life for those Italian soldiers, captured mainly in North Africa by British and US forces, who then volunteered for the Italian Service Units after Italy changed sides in September 1943. Aside from simple homesickness, the Italians had a good war. They earned money doing war work for the Americans, whereas German POWs worked in agriculture. Protected and supported by the Catholic Church and many Italian American families, many of these men remember their captivity as an introduction to friendship, democracy, and, in many cases, family. The authors point out that Letterkenny was an extraordinary POW experience, with great food and no escapes. That all the Italian POWs returned home pays homage to the US creation of the Italian Service Units. A local history, the book is a remembrance and a contribution to the historical record. Summing Up: Optional. Graduate students, faculty, specialists.
— Choice Reviews