Unlucky

Gennaro Quintigliano was posing as a Greek national when he was recognised in Adelaide as an escaped Italian prisoner of war 7th February 1946.

Cowra, NSW. 6 February 1944. Group of Italian prisoners of war (POWs) interned at No. 12 POW Group. Back row, left to right: 45603 V. Esposito; 45011 S. Amato; 57534 G. Quintiliano; 45953 G. Lo Russo; 45930 V. Landriscina; 57254 C. Giannini; 49877 L. Miele. Front row: 57521 A. Vezzola; 46282 A. Merante; 45155 M. Coppola; 46863 V. Termine; 49732 S. Piccolo. Note: The number is an assigned POW number. (Photographer Geoffrey McInnes)


Gennaro had escaped from Rowville Hostel Victoria on 30th December 1945.
This was a well-planned escape. It was reported that he had travelled first class by train from Melbourne to Adelaide. In his possession, he had Australian currency, an identity card and clothing coupons in his Greek alias and a plan to purchase a ticket for a steamer to Europe.
Gennaro Quintigliano was unlucky. Ex-Sergeant Leo Guinoy of Glenelg South Australia was walking down King William Street Adelaide during his lunch hour when he saw Quintigliano. Guinoy had been assigned as a sergeant in the Intelligence Corps at Murchison Camp Victoria.
Guinoy was quite possibly the only Australian in Adelaide to know Quintigliano and by sheer coincidence recognised the escaped prisoner of war.
Guinoy said that Quintigliano had an amazing knowledge of Australian slang and spoke quite good English. Quintigliano a powerfully built six-footer, offered no resistance and was reported to have said to Guinoy, “Well I am the stiffest man.”

(National Archives of Australia)

This was his second escape, having previously escaped from the Kyneton district in July 1945. He escaped a third time from Rowville Hostel in June 1946 and was recaptured in Sydney on 13 January 1947.

Gennaro Quintiliano has seen quite a bit of east coast Australia from his arrival in Melbourne to Cowra Camp to farm work in Canowindra to Gaythorne Camp to farm work in Gympie to Murchison Camp to farm work in Kyneton to Rowville Hostel to Adelaide to Sydney.

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