Bellemead (New Jersey) Italian Service Unit


Belle Mead New Jersey is located on the outskirts of Princeton 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.  Bellemead issued chits in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents.  Two types were issued.  Type one reads Bellemead Detached Unit and type two reads Bellemead A.S.F. Depot.  Some notes also read Belle Mead.

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