Cipriano J. Zaccagnini Second World War correspondence
This collection contains six letters from Sgt. Cipriano "Chip" Zaccagnini, USA to his cousin Mary Talingo in Clifton, New Jersey during the Second World War.
His first letter dated April 19, 1944 includes a unit letterhead with an image of a Panther and was written from Camp Rucker, Alabama, which he describes as a "hell hole" infested with bed bugs; much worse than his unit's previous placement at Camp Robinson. He mentions getting medical attention for a sinus issue in his nose, and a friend named Mario stationed in Iceland.
The second letter was writtin in January 1945 from France and he discusses the mail system and how many V-Mails he has received. He writes that V-Mail and Air Mail arrive much faster than regular mail. Chip then laments about his cousin Elsie getting engaged to an Italian prisoner of war. He says, "Those Italians not only have all the freedom they want in the states, but they are also marrying the girls...After those Italian prisoners of war killed our own American boys, Elsie has nerve enough to get engaged to one." He goes on about friends and family back home, and everyone getting engaged, and then mentions how expensive things are in France, saying "Money isn't worth much of anything here in France."
The third letter was written after his return from furlough in England, March 2, 1945 in France. He visited London and compares it to New York, though not as colorful because it was still blacked out. He hates going back to France, but sends his best to family and friends.
The fourth letter a few weeks later repeats his apology about not writing while on furlough, and tells Mary that he has been promoted to sergeant which doubles his pay. He tells her, "We got a Frank Sinatra in our Bn [battalion]. He sings at our variety shows. He's from Hoboken, NJ too. His voice is pretty good. And what do you think, he's an Italian and his name is Rosalli. He sings Frank Sinatra style, too."
In the letter dated May 3, Chip thanks Mary for writing and says he has received a lot of letters. "Thank you so much for writing so often. It really increases a soldier's morale when he gets a lot of mail from home. It assures him that the people at home are thinking of him." He then mentions, "I just read in the paper today that Hitler died. Everyone was really overjoyed here. I'll bet everyone celebrated at home...Mussolini also met a just fate. Killed by the people he betrayed."
The sixth letter was dated May 16, 1945 from St. Nazaire, France. He tells Mary that he is there taking over the German positions, where there had been a "pocket of Germans holding out here before the surrender order came through." He goes on,
"This is where I have been since I have come overseas, and was sure glad of it. Something happened to the division when we came over which I cannot say or tell, because of censorship regulations, which sent us to guard these Germans in this St. Nazaire pocket. As you probably know, St. Nazaire was a big submarine base for Nazis U. boats."
Before wrapping up with asking about news of home and the weather, he discusses the discharge points system and tells her that soldiers need 85 and he has 40, so he expects to be redeployed to the Pacific, but hopes to get a furlough first.
The last postage included is a Christmas card sent in November 1945. The front shows a road from London to Saint Lo, Bastogne, Marseille, Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt and then Berlin, with Allied flags and a Jeep with soldiers. The back includes a handwritten message, "Buno [sic] Natale da Cipriano."
- Creation: 1944 April 19 - 1945 May 16
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Biographical / Historical
Sergeant Cipriano "Chip" Zaccagnini, United States Army (10/31/1924 - 9/23/2015) was born in Bagnoli del Trigno, Italy and emigrated to the United States with his mother Giuseppina "Josephine" Zaccagnini Ialunga on November 10, 1930 (arrival) when he was six years old. He served with Company F 262 Infantry Regiment, 66th "Panther" Division at Camp Rucker, Alabama and later overseas in France and possibly Germany. He served as part of the occupation force with Company A 282 Combat Engineer Battalion and boarded a vessel for return after staging at Camp Philip Morris in Le Havre, France on April 3, 1946.
Notes from Ancestry.com passenger manifests.
0.03 Linear Feet (1 folder)
Language of Materials
This collection contains six letters from Sgt. Cipriano Zaccagnini, USA to his cousin Mary Talingo during the Second World War.
This collection is arranged chronologically.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Josephine Zaccagnini.
- Finding Aid for the Cipriano Zaccagnini Second World War correspondence
- Andrew Harman
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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