Katrina Kittel attended The University of Newcastle, Australia where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in history and a Master degree. During her 25-year career at The University of Newcastle she was employed in administrative, research assistant and librarian roles. At Charles Sturt University, Katrina undertook postgraduate studies in Library Science. Katrina is a member of Professional Historians Australia.
In 2011, Katrina Kittel’s son readied to wear her father Col Booth’s war medals for Anzac Day. What could she tell him about Col?
Gunner Col Booth NX60337 never spoke to his adopted daughter Katrina about his war. Katrina knew Col had fled a prison camp and hot-footed it to Switzerland. Family legend spoke about Col’s esteemed POW mate Peter Erickson. He’d saved Col’s life, somewhere in Italy, by killing someone about to kill Col.
Seeing some of Col’s small black and white photos on a website authored by former POW Bill Rudd (pictured above), Katrina contacted Bill. What followed was an eight-year research collaboration and friendship between Katrina and Bill. Interest in two POWs, Col and Peter, stretched to two thousand POWs, the total Australian POW cohort in Italy.
Katrina is a research team member for Bill Rudd’s website.
Katrina has been writing about POWs since 2012 including articles for Sabretache (the journal of Military Historical Society of Australia), the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Our Mob Serving Country website as well as websites and print publications by military unit associations. She was invited in 2016 to write the preface for an Italian edition of Australian Partisan by Ian Sproule and Lynette Oates.
Katrina was selected for ACT Writers Centre’s Hardcopy 2017 program for emerging non-fiction writers.
Shooting Through: Campo 106 escaped POWs after the Italian Armistice is her first book.
Katrina works in public libraries. She enjoys swimming at her favourite beaches or trawling the shelves of vintage and op shops.