Vittorio's Journey

An Italian Immigrant's Story

Pictures and Letters

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1. The Italian submarine Durbo, March 6 1938. Assumed to be at home port La Spezia, Italy.
2. Vittorio, February 1940. The young submariner in his winter uniform at 18 years old.
3. The sinking Durbo. The night of October 18, 1940.

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4. HMT Reina Del Pacifico. Late October 1940. Enroute from Gibralter to Great Britain as an Axis POW - Vittorio's life boat number on the starboard side of the HMT Reina Del Pacifico. RENIA DEL PACIFICO was built in 1931 by Harland & Wolff at Glasgow and converted into a troopship at the start of WWII.

5. Missing in Action Notification. November 14, 1940/XIX, Naval Headquarters, LaSpezia, Italy. “To the family of Student Radio Telegrafista Rappini Vittorio — I have the sorrow of communicating to you without any precise information, that your relative, Vittorio Rappini, is considered to be missing. I will follow with particular attention all news that eventually reaches me, and I will hasten to communicate with you. On my behalf, the Regia Marina passes on for your acceptance the most profound expression of sympathy, L’Ammiraglio Di Squadra, Commandante Superiore, Guido Cappuci.”

6. Vatican City Telegram. December 27, 1940. "Apostolic Delegate London communicates Rappini Vittorio found prisoner in England. He is well. Sending greetings, and best wishes. Montini". Giovanni Montini served in the Vatican's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. He became Pope Paul VI – June 21, 1963.



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7. Letter Sheet - POW Camp 6. Vittorio’s first letter home after capture by the British Navy and sent from the POW Camp 6 in Scotland - on the estate of Glenbranter House. Dated November 6, 1940 by Vittorio and received by his family late January 1941.

8. Letter Sheet Envelop POW Camp 6. The letter sheet folded into envelop dated November 12, 1940 - Stamped January 31, 1941. Opened and verified by Censor 2828



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9. Letter Sheet – POW Camp 13. June 1941. This letter is from Camp 13 in central England near Derbyshire, dated June 6, 1941. One of many letters written by Vittorio and sent home to his family in Bologna Italy.

10. Letter Sheet Envelop POW Camp 13. June 1941. The letter sheet folded into envelop dated June 6, 1941 - Stamped July 26, 1941. Opened and verified by Censor 6701.



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11. Letter Sheet POW Camp 13. September 1941. This letter is from also from Camp 13 in central England near Derbyshire dated September 19, 1941. One of many letters written by Vittorio and sent home to his family in Bologna Italy.

12. Letter Sheet Envelop POW Camp 13. September 1941. The letter sheet folded into envelop dated September 19, 1941. Stamped in Bologna October 24, 1941. Opened and verified by a Censor.



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13. Letter Sheet – POW Camp 16. December 1941. This letter is from Camp 16 in England near Rugeley dated December 29, 1941. One of many letters written by Vittorio and sent home to his family in Bologna Italy.

14. Letter Sheet Envelop POW Camp 16. December 1941. The letter sheet folded into envelop dated December 29, 1941. Stamped January 21, 1942. Opened and verified by a Censor.



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15. Durbo Crew, Camp 17. Autumn 1942. This is a picture of the entire crew of the Durbo taken at Camp 17, Autumn 1942 – a huge transit camp (Lodge Moor, England)-). This is the last camp in Britain before being sent to the United States. Vittorio sent this home to his family in Bologna as a postcard.