Capua, PG 66

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by GeoffMNZ, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Background.
    My father, Maurice Muir, #890, served in the New Zealand Army as Regimental Stretcher Bearer in 24 Battalion and was captured on 1st December 1941 at Sidi Rezegh in North Africa. He was awarded the MM for protecting his RAP from friendly fire.
    He was transported to Italy as a POW, initially to Capua (Campo 66) near Naples, then to Campo 52 in early – mid February 1942, He subsequently was moved in late June 1942 to Campo 202 to work as a Medical Orderly in the newly established POW Hospital in Lucca.
    In April 1943 he was repatriated to the United Kingdom with a party of about 400 wounded & protected personnel. He was 1 of 15 NZer’s in the party.
    QUESTION -Where exactly was PG 66 Capua???.
    There are lot of references to the camp, but as a vast majority of POW only stayed a few weeks before being sent on to a more permanent camp, there does not seem to be much research on it's exact location. I have been in touch with an Australian Historian who has done a lot of Australian POW research and these are some of her comments;
    • Carl Carrigan was there for only a few days in May 1941. Carl diarised that the camp 'was north of the city'.
    • Alex Barnett in his book however does give us a bit of description of Capua transit camp - twenty men allocated to a tent, a slum serving as a staging camp, and outside the wire stretched a large cleared paddock used as a training ground for Italian soldiers, we were forced to spend much time gazing over the fields like caged animals
    • Bob Beecroft put together the words of his father Alan in a self-published book called Unbroken, and on p.82 he writes that ' the camp was located on raised ground on a bend in the river {Barnett refers to Volturno River}. It was just over 3kms to the west of Capua which is north of Naples.'
      If you look to map, Fiume Volturno flows to the west of Capua, and there are a couple of strong bends in the current river course
    • Another reference online says that they could see My Vesuvius steaming from the camp - Can it be seen from Capua which is 40Km away?
    • Ted Faulkes, "From Palermo, the "whites" were taken to the transit camp at Capua, the site of which is now part of the Naples International Airport" - That is 30Km from Capua - There is an airport at Capua that was used by the Italian Airforce in the war. - I wonder if he was referring to that?
     
  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Geoff,

    I suggest you look at the map showing the position of the camp on website http://www.campifascisti.it/scheda_campo.php?id_campo=358

    I looked for the site on the aerial photo on Google Maps and it seems to me that the outlines of the barracks can be picked out on the ground though there are no buildings left today.

    Regards

    Vitellino
     
  3. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Hi, I came across a website today "Paul Bullard" about the War story of Paul Bullard. In his story re has recorded the following.

    “Disembarking at Naples we were loaded at the quayside into railway goods wagons and taken about twenty miles to Capua where we marched from the station to what was to be our new home, called rather grandly, Campo Concentramento P.G. No.66.
    INTERPOLATION 4: May 1945
    Nearly three years later I again disembarked at Naples, this time from a British troop-ship. By a not unusual quirk of army administration I was now the NCO in charge of a small draft of Royal Engineers. Our value as reinforcements – there were only about a dozen of us – had been even more diminished by the war in Europe having ended during our voyage from Liverpool. At the quayside there was a truck waiting to take us to the RE Depot. I was only mildly surprised to find that this was at Capua and on the same site as the former Campo Concentramento P.G. No.66.”

    I have followed this up by visiting the Royal Engineers Museum Facebook page and found this;

    "This year marks the 300th year of the Royal Engineers and over the coming months the Sappers based in the UK and abroad will be celebrating their history. To help tell their story we will be posting up snippets of the Corps history for you to follow and enjoy.

    To start with today we will be looking at the Corps Training Establishments and where the Sappers were trained to support the Army on the battlefield. You might already know that School of Military Engineering is in Chatham but did you know there were also schools around the world where Sappers were needed?
    During the Second World War one such School was set up in the town of Capua in Italy, north of Naples, in November 1943 to help train not just British and Commonwealth Engineers but those of other Allied nations including Canadian, American and Polish forces. The Establishment helped provide training in Bridging, Mine and Bomb Disposal and Mountain Warfare - some of the big problems the Allied armies in Italy were facing on the Italian front and the ‘Soft Underbelly of Europe’ as Winston Churchill once put it. The School at Capua didn’t take long to establish even though work had to be done, including repairs to buildings and roads to be used and the removal of bomb and shell damage, before training took place.

    The town and its surrounding areas suited the Sappers. The River Volturno which ran alongside the town was ideal for bridge and river crossing training, and was utilised well with the task in hand. It was able to train those just arriving in Italy and those that had been in theatre for some time.

    Without establishments like this the armies on the Italian front in 1943 wouldn’t have been able to continue the advance and help end the war in Europe in May 1945."

    I have made a request to the RE Museum for more info but they are closed until early June.

    I am also posting this info on thread "School of Miitary Engineering, Capua"
    Cheers
    Geoff
     
  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    To all those interested in PG 52 I have found an interesting website (unfortunately in Italian) which has a map some photos relative to the camp, two of which I have posted You will need to trawl through it as far as page 66 or thereabouts
    PG 52, Coreglia Ligure.png

    POW concert PG 52.png

    The website is: www.marina.difesa.it/conosciamoci/.../la_caserma_di_caperana

    Vitellino

    Sorry, this should have been on the PG 52 thread - I posted it here by mistake because of the connections between the two camps
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
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  5. Gennaro

    Gennaro New Member

    Hi, I know the discussion is old but maybe you or others are still interested in the exact position of the Campo 66

    Capua, Italy

    Google maps coordinates: 41.101495, 14.224063


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    The only standing barrack was few years ago.


    I will post more news and photos of camp 66 as soon as I find them.

    Ciao
     
  6. Gennaro

    Gennaro New Member

    August 11th 1944

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