My knowledge of World War II history is abysmal. For that matter, so is my knowledge of the first half of the 1900s. That’s an added benefit of doing genealogy now – I’m filling in gaps in my general knowledge of history.
It turns out that Castel di Sangro – most likely the home of Custode Iacobucci before she came to America – was held by the Germans during WWII. If the Italian genealogy source is correct, it is also where Adriano Giorgio was living after he left Dunbar and where he married his third wife – Maria Flamminio – in June 1913.
If our estimate of when he died is correct (early 1950s) he would have been in Castel di Sangro during WWII. Given his birth date of 1871, he would have been too old to fight for Italy during WWII but he would have lived there during the German occupation.
Which means he would have experienced this after the Germans were forced out by the Allied Forces Eighth Army. This picture appeared in Pittsburgh newspaper on January 2, 1944. The fighting around Castel di Sangro occurred in late November 1943.
I wonder how our ancestors who were from Italy felt when they saw their home town in ruins? There were plenty of Georges and Iacobuccis who joined the American Armed Forces and fought for the Allies so I know our ancestors were proud Americans willing to fight for their new country. Most of those young enough to fight during WWII had probably never been back to Italy, but for those older relatives who grew up there, I imagine this would have been a heartbreaking sight.