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Giuseppe Tito, Italian Immigrant and Decorated WWI Veteran

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    Posted 9 years ago

    (310 items)

    So, somehow this fellow got mixed in with a batch of photos of French Chasseurs Alpins that I recently acquired. There is a penciled price on it, so I think it got mixed with the others after they left the possession of the individual/family.

    The photo has the raised stamp of the photographer, C. Nicoletti, with a New York address. Judging by the medals he’s an Italian WWI Veteran wearing - as nearly as I can tell - the Medal for Military Valor, War Merit Cross, Libyan Campaign Medal, Medal for the Unification of Italy, Italian Inter-allied Victory Medal and War Medal of 1915-1918, among others.

    I can only guess at the rest of his uniform. The dark shirt, matching dark tie, and the tasseled cap reminds me of the infamous “Black Shirts,” although in sepia I can’t be sure it’s even black. Perhaps it's a US based Italian organization? Perhaps it’s something of his own design? Of course there are many standard Italian uniforms I’m not familiar with anyway.

    Perhaps the mystery can be solved by the writing on the back of the card. I think it starts with an offer of sincere gratitude and ends with something like “I know this because of my home now for this country” (run through Babelfish)

    So, can anyone translate this? Can anyone identify the uniform?

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    1. scottvez scottvez, 9 years ago
      Interesting image of a fully "medaled" soldier.

      If he were US, I might be able to help, but I am not that well versed in uniforms outside the US.

    2. Militarist Militarist, 9 years ago
      Since the card is dated in the 1920's he probably is wearing a Fascist black shirt.
    3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      Thanks Kevin! That sounds much more ominous than the Bablefish translation! shows there was a Giuseppe Tito that arrived in New York from Triste in 1923, so he'd be fresh from the old country, and could easily have been part of the Black Shirts before he left.

      Strange coincidence that an Italian Fascist would have the same name as a Yugoslav Communist: Giuseppe Tito would translate to Josip Tito. No other resemblance though ;)
    4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 9 years ago
      Just a couple of points about this Tito and the Yugoslav dictator.
      Marshal Tito was born Josip Broz. He had a couple of pseudonyms, one of which was Tito. Tito means 'giant' and perhaps it's a memory of a factory where he worked in 1911 called "Titan". His other 'nom de guerre' during his undercover years in the early 30's was "Walter".
      If the guy in the postcard was named Giuseppe Tito he might well have been the 29 year old who arrived in New York on November 20, 1923 on the Presidente Wilson from Trieste.
      As regards the Italian text, it reveals little. But it is dated some eight months later in 1924. I'm not sure to whom it was addressed. I've searched high and low for the "Illustrissima Contessa Parma", Madama Del Combre. No luck so far.
      My reading of the text is: "Offro per sincero atto di gratitudine e riconoscenza e spero di essere lo stesso cittadino e soldato della mia patria ora per questa patria."

      I think it is 'ora' and not 'oro'.
      His comment reflects his hope to be a good citizen and soldier in his new homeland as he had been in the land of his birth.
      I will confer with some friends in Italy to see if they can help with with a few details on the card. The language seems really formal.

      Could you see this as being a 'carte de visite' or a post card?

    5. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      Thanks so much for your time and thoughts, vetraio50.
      Your post brings me back to my original supposition that he was referring to his new country, rather than his native homeland. I had begun to have second thoughts after AR8Jason’s translation. I realize Fascism had some support in the U.S. in the 1920s, but I figured if he were really a black shirt, he’d also be an ardent Italian nationalist. I was also wondering if this Giuseppe might have also used “Tito” as a nom de guerre.

      The card is the size and composition of a Real Picture Postcard. Isn’t a “carte de visite” necessarily smaller and thicker? It is also embossed, both with the Photographer’s information (“G. Nicoletti, not “C” as I previously typed) and with raised edges – so clearly some studio work was done. I wonder, is it possible the photographer took a photo of a cabinet card?
    6. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      Thanks for the love vetraio50, PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, Militarist, ttomtucker, AR8Jason, blunderbuss2, and mustangtony. Thanks for the like scottvez.
    7. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      Thanks for the love and the comment, Belling68.

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