Siskiyou, South County, Yreka

POW Remembrance Ride Though Siskiyou 29th & 30th of August 2022

By Sue Miller, I am a U.S. Army veteran and married to a retired U.S. Army Officer.

(ONLY TWO 'host homes' are still needed in Northern California (Hornbrook on 29 August) & Grenada on 30 August); a room, a couch, a covered porch, a sponsored hotel/motel room, an RV/camper in your driveway or a soft & safe patch of grass in your backyard to pitch a tiny tent, for Andrea to have safe accommodations for his journey through Siskiyuo County. See cities and dates below)

About two and a half years ago, during the beginning of the Covid pandemic, I was reading postings on my local Newport News, VA Facebook page and found the Facebook page of Andrea Franzoni (, from Villanuova sul Clisi, Province of Brescia, Italy.

Andrea was searching for information and historic documentation about Italian POWs who were held in the United States during WWII. Andrea’s Grandfather, Aldo Arrighi, was one of those POWs.

During that same time, I was home, with Covid, and began reading and researching the plight of the Italian POWs and became fascinated with this piece of history. I actually lived on Fort Eustis, VA, where Grandfather Aldo was first held upon his arrival, after he was captured from the battlefields of Europe and transported via ship to Virginia.

While home, in Italy, Andrea embarked on a ‘virtual’ cross country bicycle ride (on his stationary bike) and rode the ENTIRE distance his grandfather Aldo’s journey took him, as a POW, from Virginia, through the southern states and up the west coast to Washington.

As an Italian Prisoner of War (POW), Grandfather Aldo was transported by ship to Newport News, Virginia and transferred via train across the United States and eventually held as a POW near Fort Lewis, Washington. Andrea rode his stationary bike the entire distance from Virginia, following all the POW railroad tracks and POW camps where his grandfather, Aldo, was held!!

Aldo Arrighi was born in Goglione, a small town that now is Prevalle, Italy. About two years ago, Aldo passed away and Andrea wants to commemorate his Grandfather Aldo’s life, military service and his time as a POW by riding from Seattle, Washington to Florence, Arizona (where Aldo spent several months in a POW camp). Andrea anticipates he will start in Seattle in late July and take approximately 2 months to ride a bike to Florence, AZ.

It was Aldo and Andrea’s dream to make this trip together, but that journey never happened. Andrea wants to honor his Grandfather Aldo by making this memorable journey.

Did you know that the United States held 51,000 Italian POWs during WWII? Of the 51,000 Italian POWS being held at the time, over 45,000 joined the Service Units and were sent to places with a shortage of labor manpower across the United States. Aldo was assigned to many of these “service units.”

Andrea, myself and others are spreading the word about the bike ride and requesting assistance from host families along the route.

IF you are able to sponsor, help, support, or coordinate this effort in any way, please follow Andrea on Facebook or: or Instagram:

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