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His Death

     Alfred was inducted into the Army in Pennsylvania. According to his death announcement and other sources, Alfred was a Sergeant in the Army, who was part of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) Detachment C, 2677th Headquarters Company.  His unit was made of primarily Americans with an Italian background.  Most of the unit could speak some Italian.

   In April 1943, this special unit was activated for sabotage and other special operations behind enemy lines. The mission code-named Ginny, was to be the unit's, and Alfred's last mission.  Its aim was to destroy a railway tunnel running between Genoa and La Spezia Italy, 300 miles behind enemy lines.  The Air Force had made an unsuccessful attempt to destroy this supply line earlier in March. The plan was for fifteen-man unit to destroy the tunnel using explosives.  Sgt. Deflumeri was a one of the nine-man demolition team; six others would provide rifle support. Two PT boats would land the men near the rail tunnel under cover of darkness.  After successfully completing their mission, the team was supposed to return to the PT boats via 3 rubber boats. 

          On the night of March 22, 1944, the team came ashore in  three rubber boats some 500 feet below Carpineggio, Italy.  Due to the darkness, they had missed their designated landing point, Stazione di Framura, by 3 kilometers.  Unable to get to the tunnel and finish the mission that night, and unable to make radio contact with the PT boats offshore, the team commander chose to wait and try to complete the mission the next night.

      They were again unable to establish contact with the PT boats the second night, and thus choose to spend another night in hiding.  The following morning they were captured by a German search party after a fisherman had found their rubber boats on the beach. Surrendering after a short skirmish, they were marched away to Bonassola, Italy.  Unknown to the sabotage team, the PT boats made two attempts to pick up the missing team.


     The morning of May 26th, the fifteen Americas were brought to Villa Angelo by truck and executed at an open spot on the Punta Bianca, the western headland of the Magra river. The soldiers were buried in an unmarked gravesite nearby.  Fourteen months later, a team investigating the missing men were led to the gravesite.  Because the men captured during Operation Ginny were never properply tried by German officials, their execution was considered a war crime.  


     On Sunday, December 1, 1945, after receiving a guilty verdict, General Anton Dostler was executed for his role in the execution of the fifteen prisoners of war.


     Alfred L. Deflumeri is buried at the Florence US Military Cemetery (Grave G-11-15) with six of his fellow OSS team members. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.


     (These details were obtained from Alfred's death notice and an article in the magazine After the Battle, Number 94.)


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