Italian Partisans Information

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Gazz, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    I am currently researching my Fathers WW2 sevice. He was a career soldier and joined up in 1936, he served in the 4th Royal Tank Regiment and was evacuated from Dunkirk and captured at Tobruk where he ended up in Italy as a POW, eventually escaping as many did and lived with an Italian family around L'aquila for approximately 2 years I have various documents, photos and letters from the time, amongst the various documents there is a note that reads-
    'While my Father has been under my command he has proved himself to be a useful and efficient soldier in active service against the enemy' signed by a Capt E R Mclean (2 scottish Pretoria) District commander of the 'Nembo Div of Partisans' L,aquila, Italy 22/4/1944. I am unable to find any information on nembo partisans, there is plenty of information on the Italian Nembo Parachute Division but nothing on 'Nembo Partisans'. Does anyone have any information on the above.
    It does read as if he was knocking about with Italian resistance whilst evading which he never spoke about.

    Lindele likes this.
  2. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Hello Gazz,

    welcome to the Forum and good luck with your research.
    I am sure there will be members fit to give you some help.
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I suspect that Vitellino will have the answers.

    She is good at this stuff.

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  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I have already had a look but nothing has come up. However, the Nembo parachutists who were co-belligerents of the Allies were involved in the liberation of Chieti on 9 June 1944...

    However, Gazz, I don't understand the comment...while MY Father has been under MY command ...

    What was YOUR father's name, rank and number?

    Whilst waiting for your reply I see what I can find on Capt. E.R. McLean and will edit this post.

    Edited: Here's J.K. McLean RTR, registered in PG 29

    Capt. McLean.png

    The partisans bands in the Abruzzo were:
    The 'Patrioti della Maiella'
    Patrioti marsicani
    Trentino La Barba
    Giovanni di Vicenzo
    La Duchessa
    Conca di Sulmona.

    Have you sent for your father's service records?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  5. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    Hi Vitellino,

    Thank you for your reply.
    I have got my Fathers service record but there is nothing in the record that I did not know already. I have a document that informs that he gave an account of his time as a POW and evading capture.
    My Father was Corporal John Edward Weir service No 554359
    He was captured at Tobruk on 21/6/1942 and escaped 12/8/1943 after spending time in Fermo and L'aquila camps. Whilst evading in the L'Aquila area he was sheltered by a family with the surname Diva as I have letters which were sent to my Father after the war.
    He was back in Allied hands on 5/7/1944.
    The note which I referred to and has caused you a bit of confusion was as follows word for word-
    .' To whom it may concern
    'While Cpl J E Weir 554359 has been under my command he has proved himself to be a useful and efficient soldier in active service against the enemy'
    Capt E R Mclean
    (2 scottish Pretoria) B.a.a.
    District commander
    'Nembo Div of Partisans'
    L,aquila, Italy 22/4/1944'

    Many Thanks again
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks Gazz.

    It's not very often that I am stumped - I am bi -lingual and have checked out all the on-line sources I can find regarding different partisan bands in the area and there's nothing remotely like Nembo.

    Am I right in thinking that you have an Escape and Evasion report for your father? If so , what does it say about his movements when he was with the Diva family or after he left them to join the partisans or his own lines?

    Do the Diva family letters have an address?

  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Quite intriguing thread.

    I note this US OSS document has one reference to Nembo Missions: Item 219

    Yes this mission was after your relative was back in Allied hands.

    Perhaps an easier way to make progress is to find more on: Captain E R Mclean, of 2 Scottish Pretoria?

    I am not an expert on the South African Army, but I have not heard of such a unit. Nor on a quick read of this website research found anything similar: South African World War II PARTICIPANTS genealogy project

    There is a 2nd Transvaal Scottish, a long established formation and in WW2 a summary:
    Link: Transvaal Scottish Regiment - Wikipedia

    The city of Pretoria was in WW2 part of the Transvaal Province. Apparently there are threads here on the unit. Good luck.
  8. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    Thank you for the replies and help davidbfpo and Vitellino, I will certainly follow the links.
    I have not seen an escape and evade report but there is a note in my Dads paperwork that says he had rendered a statement of experiences to the British Section C.S.D.I.C., C.M.F. on the 5th July 1944. it is signed by an Intelligence Officer that is unreadable.There are loads of bits of paper with addresses there are even photographs taken around L'aquila at local landmarks that are still there (Google earth is great for that). The address for the Diva Fmily was-
    Valle Pretara 554, L'aquila.
    I will try and get some copies of the paperwork to upload which may give a better insight and help with the research.
    Vitellino I have a couple of personal letters from the Diva family sent after the war which are obviously in Italian if I could get copies to you would you be able to translate them please

    Thanks again
  9. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    Here is the first document that started this thread.I hope you can see it. I will upload some others later.

  10. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Very interesting.

    Though it seems to me that the writing is in the same hand, it also appears that the note above and the signature below apertain to different dates - different pen and ink.

    Capt. E.J. McLean was not an escaped prisoner of war according to the list in Imperial POWs WO 392/21. So, was he an SOE agent?

    And why can't I find the ''Nembo'' anywhere?

  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    At last I have found something about the 'Nembo' partisans on the Folgore Division's website:

    The Folgore Combat Group was launched in September 1944. Its components were:

    The Parachute Regiment Nembo;

    The San Marco Regiment

    184 ° Artillery Regiment

    CLXXXIV Engineers and Services Battalion.

    The Folgore was assigned to the XIII British Corps. On 3 March 3, 1945 it was with 6th British Division operating in the Val Senio, Val Santerno and Borgo S. Lorenzo section of the front.

    Six days later a group of partisans joined the 'Nembo', the Brigata Alessandro Bianconcini, which had already fought alongside the American 5 Army in September 1944 on Monte Battaglia.

    This Brigade of partisans had been formed in the north, in the area of Imola, so that doesn't explain the date on the note, which is April 1944. More work to be done on this.


    Edited: I think the only way to fiind out what Capt. McLean was doing is to send for his service records.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    Paul Nield and TriciaF like this.
  12. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Brilliant work, Vitellino
  13. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    Very interesting and well done Vitellino I will have to look through more of the papers to see if I can find anymore clues.

  14. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    some more info with dates
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] [​IMG]
  15. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks Gazz. I have seen these before.

    Do you have a copy of the actual Escape and Evasion Report which would have been compiled by the Intelligence officer who issued this certificate? If not, I would ask a researcher to look in the National Archives to see if there is one, and if so, I would obtain it. Unfortunately not all of them have survived.

  16. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    No Vitellino I have not got the report so I may go along the route of the National Archives. Thanks again I have another document that shows the POW camps my Dad was in. I will post that later.

    Thanks again
  17. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] [​IMG]
  18. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Interesting. This was compiled by your father in the 2. A. PW. R. Camp - this was at Naples and was the No.2 Allied Prisoner of War Repatriation Camp, where the escapers who had crossed the lines were held whilst awaiting repatriation.

  19. Gazz

    Gazz Active Member

    I can remember him telling me they were treated badly in one of the camps I think it may have been Fermo, he told me that one of the fellow prisoners had died through eating raw chestnuts because of starvation.
  20. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    There were some War Crimes investigations into Fermo - I haven't read the files though.

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