Italian Sailors in Wilson Jail, 1941

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Clipping from an Italian newspaper of the prisoners in Wilson

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“Imported Spaghetti”

Italian_POWs_2One of my patrons found a great collection of pictures in an estate sale in Italy of Italian sailors being held in the Wilson County jail .  Yes an estate sale in Italy.  I guess some people get up very early.  Anyway the photos are quite extraordinary and I was lucky to be able to digitize them.

There are certainly some questions that go unanswered from what looks to be a news wire about them.  Supposedly their freighter, the Villerperosa, was sabotaged in the Wilmington, NC harbor, but it doesn’t say who sabotaged them.  The date of the photos are 30 June, 1941 so it would be almost six months until we were at war with Italy, yet the sailors were detained in the Wilson, NC jail, which is two hours away from Wilmington.  So many questions!

If anyone has any info about this slice of history, please let me know.

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