Italian-American POW from WWII

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby oddquestionasker » 30 Dec 2011, 23:13

I'll go ahead and state the obvious up front: This is clearly a stab in the dark . . .

I have been engaged in extensive research regarding a WWII Italian POW Camp which was located just outside of Monticello, Arkansas.

One of the men at that camp was named Joseph Pelligrino and he was a United States citizen . . . but also an Italian prisoner of war.

He was originally from Passaic, New Jersey (or, less likely, Patterson NJ)and had been living in Italy (most likely Sicily) with his new Italian bride when the war broke out. He was subsequently drafted ("shanghied" was his term) into the Italian Army and captured sometime in 1943. Supposedly his family in New Jersey had either money or connections and they were attempting to get him released based on the fact that he was serving in the Italian Army involuntarily and that he was a United States citizen. The only formal document that I could find at the Nat. Archives was his petition for release, however, that was only the petition. No document indicating how the case was resolved has been found, but it can be assumed that he was sent back to Italy with his fellow PWs at war's end and - if he did, in fact, return to the U.S. - had to turn around and sail back home from Italian soil. In a photo taken by an American, fellow Jerseyite, G.I. friend of his, he appears to be in his mid to late 20s in 1944 (birth year somewhere around 1914 to 1919??).

Admittedly, this isn't much information. But if anyone has any advice or can find out anything about this interesting case, I would appreciate the contact.
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Re: Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby suanj » 31 Dec 2011, 14:28

Hi, I found:
Image
and
Image

I found 2 Joseph Pellegrino :
1 born in 1911 abt and living in Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey ( son of Stefano Pellegrino b. in Marsala, Sicily on 8th sep 1876; naturalized in 1910); the family are on the 1930 census

and 1 born in 1919, living in Paterson City[ son of Angelo Pellegrino b. 1888 Santa Croce Camerina town (in Siracusa province until 1930, currently in Ragusa province) and of Maruzza Pellegrino nee Carfi( imm. 23 Sep 1912); infos by Angelo arrival: http://www.ellisisland.org/search/shipM ... 0164%2ETIF and by 1920 census:
1920 United States Federal Census
about Joseph Pellegrino
Name: Joseph Pellegrino
Age: 1
[1 7/12]
Birth Year: abt 1919
[abt 1918]
Birthplace: New Jersey
Home in 1920: Paterson Ward 7, Passaic, New Jersey
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father's Name: Angelo Pellegrino
Father's Birthplace: Italy
Mother's name: Mary Pellegrino
Mother's Birthplace: Italy
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Angelo Pellegrino 30
Mary Pellegrino 27
Josephine Pellegrino 5
Joseph Pellegrino 1
[1 7/12]

this family is not in 1930 census, so maybe they came back in Italy...

seeming that the Joseph Pellegrino born in 1918/9 could be the person that you are searching for...
by newspaper articles seeming that was accepted in US Army.. if I read well... however also if he was born in USA, however he had the italian citizenship by parents and resident in Italy at war time, so it was enrolled...
hoping helpful,
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Re: Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby oddquestionasker » 02 Jan 2012, 01:34

suanj,

Thank you so very, very much! I believe that you have, in fact, found our Joseph Pelligrino!

The only thing that gives me pause is the notation in the caption that he was accepted into the US Army after the the photo in Bizirte was taken, but that doesn't mean much. It is quite possible that someone added that to the press release to make it sound better (propaganda purposes) as opposed to having it look like an American captured with an enemy force was then living it up as a bandleader in a POW camp. By the Fall of 1943, the American public was already beginning to voice criticism about "coddling" of the German and Italian POWs.

I'm trying to send this reply with a few attachments but am not sure that i'm doing it correctly. If not, i'll try again. . . .

However, i am about 99% convinved that Joseph was still a POW and locked away in Compound #2 of Camp Monticello, Arkansas at least until September of 1944.
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Re: Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby suanj » 02 Jan 2012, 11:17

Hi, you can post this document:
The only formal document that I could find at the Nat. Archives was his petition for release...

so I can read it...
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Re: Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby Tessa78 » 03 Jan 2012, 17:09

oddquestionasker wrote:suanj,

Thank you so very, very much! I believe that you have, in fact, found our Joseph Pelligrino!

The only thing that gives me pause is the notation in the caption that he was accepted into the US Army after the the photo in Bizirte was taken, but that doesn't mean much. It is quite possible that someone added that to the press release to make it sound better (propaganda purposes) as opposed to having it look like an American captured with an enemy force was then living it up as a bandleader in a POW camp. By the Fall of 1943, the American public was already beginning to voice criticism about "coddling" of the German and Italian POWs.

I'm trying to send this reply with a few attachments but am not sure that i'm doing it correctly. If not, i'll try again. . . .

However, i am about 99% convinved that Joseph was still a POW and locked away in Compound #2 of Camp Monticello, Arkansas at least until September of 1944.


You can try uploading your documents using an image-sharing site such as http://postimage.org/

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Re: Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby suanj » 04 Jan 2012, 12:08

Hi oddquestionasker,
I believe that the Joseph Pellegrino born in Paterson NJ is no the right Joseph Pellegrino; because I searched better and I found the 1930 census:

1930 United States Federal Census
about Angelo Pellegriano Name: Angelo Pellegriano
Birth Year: abt 1888
Birthplace: Italy
Home in 1930: Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey
View Map
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Mary Pellegriano
Occupation:

Education:

Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents' birthplace: View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Angelo Pellegriano 42
Mary Pellegriano 38
Josephine H Pellegriano 16
Joseph Pellegriano 11(Pellegrino)
home address 82 Spruce st...
well by Paterson directories( 1940-1948) I found Angelo and Joseph living at same address surely until 1948... so it is not your Joseph that you are searching for... the picture that you sent me, seeming that Joseph was a man abt 30 old.. also by other picture the name seeming Joseph F. Pellegrino.. so nothing abt this trace....

I cannot find a possible census abt this Joseph F Pellegrino.. you contacted the Red Cross? if he was repatried, by Red Cross you can have some other helpful info ..
regards,
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Re: Italian-American POW from WWII

Postby suanj » 09 Jan 2012, 12:59

well, after some day, I have another suggestion..
the Joseph Pellegrino born in 1919, Paterson, NJ; it is not your Joseph, now I am pretty sure abt that( see my previous post);

I searched so much in this days, and the other Joseph Pellegrino was the son of Stefano Pellegrino ( born in Marsala on 8th sep 1876) and Vita Palmeri, both of Marsala.
Stefano Pellegrino was naturalized in 1914:
Record Details
Section Name PETITIONS
Document PETITIONS VOL 12 2751 - 3000
Number of Pages 5
Document Title STEFANO PELLEGRINO
Person Name STEFANO PELLEGRINO
Year 1914
Country ITALY

but what is interesting, is that in the Petition of naturalization, resulting that Stefano emigrated again in Italy in 1936;

the son Joseph (Giuseppe) Pellegrino was born on 13 dec 1910 in Passaic; after the birth, Joseph/Giuseppe travelled back in Italy ( in Marsala) with parents in 1913; and back again in USA
Name: Stefano Pellegrino
Arrival Date: 17 Apr 1913
Birth Year: abt 1878
Birth Location: Erapano
Birth Location Other: massala
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/Race¬/Nationality: Italian (South) (Italian)
Port of Departure: Palermo
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Polonia
with wife and little Giuseppe(Joseph)

the family appearing in 1920 census and 1930 census( sorry I no searched abt Stefano in 1910 census);

Stefano Pellegrino petition:
pag 1 Image

pag 2 Image

pag 3 Image

pag 4 Image
pag 5 Image

in this last page( 5) you can read the fact: that Stefano and family back in Italy in 1936...
and that matching with your Joseph story....
in 1939 Stefano and Vita came back in USA; without Joseph....
Name: Stefano Pellegrino
Arrival Date: 27 Apr 1939
Birth Year: abt 1876
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Port of Departure: Naples, Italy
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Conte di Savoia


but another thing is interesting:
Joseph Pellegrino born in Passaic on 13 Dec 1910 back in USA in 1947:

Image

the parents: Stefano and Vita made some trip again in Italy and back in USA:
Name: Stefano Pellegrino
Arrival Date: 7 Aug 1950
Birth Year: abt 1878
Age: 72
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/Race¬/Nationality: Italian
Port of Departure: Palermo
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Vulcania


New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 about Stefano Pellegrino
Name: Stefano Pellegrino
Arrival Date: 16 Jun 1952
Birth Year: abt 1878
Age: 74
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/Race­/Nationality: Italian
Port of Departure: Naples, Italy
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Saturnia

alone, adress 188 Washington Palce, Passaic, NJ

from what I understand, Stefano reaquiring the italian citizenship and MAYBE for this reason Joseph(if is your Joseph) had also italian citizenship, also if born in USA and because was in Italy he was enrolled....
Joseph Pellegrino born on 13 dec 1910 in Passaic, after the trip in 1947 no back in Italy and died in 1984:

NAME:
Joseph Pellegrino
BIRTH:
13 Dec 1910
DEATH:
Jun 1984 - Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey, United States of America
CIVIL:
New Jersey
OTHER:
Passaic, Passaic, New Jersey, United States of America


Let me know your suggestions,
regards,
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