Carissimo Salvatore: An Archaeological view of Italian Service Units at the Presidio of San Francisco

Author(s): Kari Jones

Year: 2015

Summary

Over 50,000 Italian prisoners of war were transported to the United States during World War II. After Italy negotiated an armistice with the Allies, POWs were presented with a choice. Those that signed an oath of allegiance to the new Italian government were assigned to Italian Service Units (ISUs). They provided support services for the United States military in exchange for limited freedoms and better living conditions. Those that refused to sign the oath remained in POW camps. This paper presents the discovery and archaeological recovery of a cache of personal effects of ISUs at the Presidio of San Francisco, a United States Army Post. The private items ISUs stashed away illuminate their lives at an intimate scale and reflect the relationships they negotiated with their American superiors. Divergences and overlap with the experiences of Italians in POW camps and networks with Italian-American communities are also explored. 

Cite this Record

Carissimo Salvatore: An Archaeological view of Italian Service Units at the Presidio of San Francisco. Kari Jones. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433846)

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Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 357