PG62 - Bergamo, Italy, PoW Camp and related Work Camps

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Phil Mills, Jun 21, 2023.

  1. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Hi Phil

    I’ve read this thread with interest as my great uncle - George Noakes - was at PG62/32 which I think was Zibido San Giacomo - he was engaged in farm work. He escaped on 11 Sept (the guards held onto them for three days after the armistice until they were surrounded by Germans. He was looked after by the family he had been working for for a week, tried crossing the Po, gave up and was sheltered in Cisliani for a week before being put in touch with a group in Milan who smuggled him onto a train and across the border to Switzerland.

    I’d love to know if you’ve found any information on the work camp there, as apart from family names of helpers I don’t have much more info.

    Paul
     
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  2. Phil Mills

    Phil Mills Member

    I have his escape report, if you’ve not seen it before?
     
  3. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Thanks Phil, I already have it - plus some material from the Allied Screening Commission that links in. I’m just scrabbling around for anything location-wise. I know the second farm he stayed in, but don’t know the location of PG62/32 or the farm he worked on from there.
     
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  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Mary, Phil and Paul,

    Paul, I've just picked up your great uncle's name from a list of escapers to Switzerland in the National Archives website (file WO 208). On 30 September it names the following men from PG 62 and its work camps as having made it to Switzerland.

    PG 62 Bergamo
    3781147 Private James Jackson, 1st Battalion, Kings Own Rifle Regiment
    T/217588 Lance Corporal Harry Richard Mapp, Royal Army Service Corps
    1758 Corporal Edward Ivor Sinclair, Umvoti Mounted Rifles


    PG 62/62 Canobbio
    146250 Lance Bombardier Kenneth Wheatley, 68 H.A.A. Regiment Royal Artillery
    PG 62/32 Binasco -perhaps the correct name is as you say, Paul, is Zibido San Giacomo, as there is some confusion about the name of PG 62/32 on website campifascisti.it
    2000416 Private William Knott, Royal Engineers, 233 Field Company
    4617862 Corporal George Michael Noakes, 5th Battalion The East Yorkshire Regiment

    PG 62 Mediglia (agricultural work camp)
    2661378 Corporal Alexander Easter, 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards

    So, Mary, your father crossed over with one of these groups.

    Phil, if you have their E&E reports look for the route Luino-Ponte Tresa and that should indicate the grop.

    Paul, what was the name of the family who helped your great uncle? Requests for compensation put in by the helpers are now accessible on line from the Allied Screening Committee files in the American Archives, that is, the request number can be found and the archives can be contacted for a copy of the report. Unfortunately these files cannot be accessed yet by the name of the servicemen helped. There is a thread on this theme elswhere on ww2 Talk posted by Tedfromscrubs.

    Best wishes,
    Vitellino
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2024
  5. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Incidentally he went on to work for the British Legation in Berne after a period of internment at Wald ZH, I’m also trying to determine whether he was one of the 20 MI9 recruited to debrief escapers.
     
  6. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Hi Vitellino - Carlo Oldani and Alberto Introini are the two names I have from the ASC - actually this weekend I found them in the US archives and have requested the detail from the files.
     
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  7. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Brilliant, Paul.

    Let us know what other servicemen they mention.
     
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  10. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Hi Mary

    Not much help but a little bit in terms of narrowing it down - if Percy Dalton’s story is accurate then it won’t have been the PG62/32 camp - from my great uncle’s testimony the guards there kept them in until three days after the armistice.
     
  11. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Hi Vitellino

    I received the pdfs of the two files I was interested in from the Washington National Archives - really useful.
    The servicemen covered were:

    George Noakes (my great uncle), William Knott and J Willetts all helped by Alberto Introini, and Bill Hay helped by his friend Carlo Oldani. I already had both these names but the detail and confirmation is very useful, as are the addresses and service numbers.

    Incidentally, the archivist there wrote:
    “The series of records, Helper Claims, July 1944–April 1947 has recently entered the initial stages of digitization. When digitization of this series is complete, high resolution images will be added to the online catalog. Please continue to check the catalog link for updates on digitization of this series.”
     
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  12. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks for this information, Paul.

    I know about the update as I will be one of the citizen archivists whose job it will be to tag each report with the names of the POWs assisted.
     
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  13. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Excellent. It’s a great initiative.
    I was wondering whether you could share your list of 30 Sept escapees? Does it also list the points of entry? I’ve been trying to corroborate family stories that my great uncle escaped with an Australian and a Dutch man.
    Thanks!
    Paul
     
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  15. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Paul,
    I will send you a private message with the list tomorrow.

    Janet (Vitellino)
     
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  17. Hi Paul, Vitellino,

    Is there a way I can pinpoint the group my dad escaped with? That might help locate his camp. My brother and I both recall his saying he volunteered to work in a farm rather than being assigned one. It seemed to have been a very prosperous farm. He was happy there as he was treated well and fed very well. I suspect it was close to PG 62. Really appreciate you very knowledgeable people
    Mary
     
  18. Phil
    You are missing a few camps the late Brian Sims made a comprehensive list
    Italian Work Camps
    No one seems to know including my contact in Darfo where PG62/56 was.
    54 and 51 where for work on the canal Esine and Plemo and the guard huts still remain
    Regards
    Trevor
     
  19. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Mary,

    Your father would probably have escaped with one of the groups I listed on 3 February
    If money Is not a problem you should obtain. their escape reports from the National Archives. Visit Discovery, insert WO 208 and the names I have listed and place an order
    The men may not name their companions but will name the families who helped them and the routes they took. With the names of the helpers you can access the files in the American Archives as Paul hss done.
     
  20. paulbarlow

    paulbarlow Member

    Hi Phil
    Do you have the escape reports for the servicemen below? I was planning to ask for them but thought I’d check with you first.
    2000416 Private William Knott, Royal Engineers, 233 Field Company
    2658575 Guardsman James Willetts, Coldstream Guards.
    93080 Private William (Bill) Hay.
    Thank you!
    Paul
     

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