Raritan Arsenal (New Jersey) Italian Service Unit

Raritan 1

Raritan Arsenal was located just East of Edison New Jersey.  As a result of the surrender of Italy to the Allies in September 1943 Italy was no longer considered to be a belligerent nation.  POWs were not permitted to perform work that might be aiding the war effort.  After Italy’ surrender Their POWs were given the opportunity to volunteer for the service unit program that was established in February 1944.  Conditions for the volunteers was considerably better than in the POW camps.  Some Italians volunteered but most did not feeling that they were betraying their fallen comrades in North Africa by accepting preferential treatment.  Chits were similar to those used in the POW camps.  The unit was opened in 1944 and closed in December 1945.  There were 564 Italians that worked there.  Two types of chits were issued.  Type one had no text over the denominations and was issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents.  Type two reads Good For over the denomination and was not issued in a 50 cent chit.

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