.

The Urban Archeologist: The Secret Identity of G.I. Joe

Can you help me find Joe's family?

Joe was a staff sergeant
Joe was a staff sergeant

Another mystery presented itself to me when I decided to pick up a scrapbook in the basement of a Connecticut antique shop. I won’t tell you which shop, they're all good and all deserving of a visit.


Something about this one made me flip through the pages. I have seen this type of book before, likely kept by the lady of the house and full of wedding invitations and greeting cards from the 1940s-50s.

It wasn’t until I came to the items marking her spouse's entrance into WWII that I started to get to know this couple from Bridgeport, CT. better. Joseph Papini at 37 was drafted in 1943 and left home for more than 2 years to fight for his country.

The papers that were preserved tell a story of a soldiers life, from his draft notices to his discharge and some very unique items in between. The real gem was a packet of negatives with a U.S. Censor’s stamp of approval. To see those negative developed and more WWII memorabilia, click this link to view.


I need your help in searching out either relatives of Joseph Papini, or his wife, Julia whose maiden name was Santa Barbara. My goal is to return these items back to the family. I hope you can help.  

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Ivy Farinella April 07, 2014 at 07:36 AM
Let us know if you find the family that is connected to this scrape book. I'm sure they will be very happy to have such a wonderful collection of family history. I hope you get the information you need.
Greg Van Antwerp April 07, 2014 at 07:52 AM
Thanks Ivy! I was able to do this with a previous find. I hope to go 2 for 2.

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