Revealed, the wartime bravery of SAS hero who escaped his German captors by jumping from a moving train but died in daring 'Italian job' raid on enemy HQ

Mail Online | 9/18/1943 | Keiran Southern For Mailonline
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The wartime bravery of an SAS hero who carried out daring raids behind enemy lines and escaped captivity by jumping from a moving train can be told after his medals emerged for sale.

Lieutenant James Riccomini MBE spent four months assisting Italian resistance fighters before scaling the Alps to reach neutral Switzerland when his cover was blown.

Nazi-occupied - Italy - Ambush - Column

He was later dropped back into Nazi-occupied Italy and led a fearless ambush of a German armoured column.

But he was tragically killed in action while heading an assault during the legendary Operation Tombola, which has become known as the 'SAS Italian Job'.

Commandos - Headquarters - Italy - Sounds - Bagpipes

The 50 commandos attacked a German military headquarters in north Italy to the sounds of the bagpipes played by Scottish volunteer David 'Mad Piper' Kirkpatrick who was dropped in the area in a kilt.

There were 60 German casualties but Lt Riccomini was one of three SAS men shot and killed in the operation which was designed to harass the retreating German forces in Italy.

MBE - Military - Cross - Medals - Letters

His MBE, Military Cross and other medals along with letters he wrote to his wife, documents and photos have now been put up for sale for £12,000.

Lt Riccomini, from Maidstone, Kent, served with the Royal Army Service Corps in Egypt but was captured in June 1941 and sent to the Gavi prisoner of war camp in north west Italy.

September - Train - Camp - Austria - Men

On September 18, 1943, he was put on a train to another camp in Austria but the 16 men in Lt Riccomini's carriage carved a 2ft hole into an end wall and teamed up into pairs to jump from it as it hurtled towards its destination.

Lt Riccomini was paired with Italian speaker Lieutenant H. A. Peterson, an SAS operative, and they headed for the hills above the town of Trento, northern Italy.

Weeks - Force

In the following weeks they built up a partisan force to attack...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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