Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Olive Oil Riot

What was the Olive Oil Riot?

CRK is IBM (Italian By Marriage)
This incident took place in Missoula Montana in 1942 during World War II.  We noted it in the Montana chapter of America Invaded...

"Fort Missoula became a prisoner-of-war camp in World War II.  The crew of the Italian ship SS Conte Biancamano, which had been seized in Panama, was transported to Missoula and held prisoner in Fort Missoula.  Japanese-American men were also detained at Fort Missoula.  The Italian detainees called the area Bella Vista, and many wound up settling in Montana after the war. So this would qualify as an Italian detention rather than an invasion.  There was, however, one violent incident—the Olive Oil Riot. An Italian cook became indignant when told that he must use beef fat for cooking rather than his beloved olive oil. A guard shot himself in the foot during the ensuing disturbance!"

Conte Biancamano
On my recent visit to the Rocky Mountain Military History Museum in Fort Missoula ( I found photographs of Italian detainees that were held in Montana during the war.  On Italy's surrender in 1943 most of the detainees were repatriated though a few opted to join the US Army and became American citizens.  One of these founded the Broadway Market store in Missoula Montana.

Italian Detainees in Fort Missoula

Thanks Western Free Press...

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