Radio Man

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt is a photo of a huge telephone switchboard and a number of very busy operators forwarding calls. My closest match to that is this photo of my father at his station handling the radio operations for his unit during World War II.
World War II Radio Man
Photo: CrazyasaCoolFox
Dad was a radio operator for his company who where deployed in North Africa and Italy. I have number of photos he took during that time period but only one shows a distinctive shape of an Italian cathedral. He told us some stories of what he did during the war but none of them were ever told in depth.
He did tell me of one incident of when his unit was left stranded on an Italian island in the midst of the Sicilian campaign  They were left for about a week behind enemy lines before being rescued.
One story I never heard directly from him was told to me by my grandfather after my dad's death in 1980. I was visiting "Gramp" when the subject of dad's military experience came up. 

Apparently his unit was involved in some action in Northern Africa. My father was chasing a German officer when the officer stopped at a well and threw his service pistol into the water rather than have it fall in the hands of the enemy. Well after they captured this renegade officer my father returned to the well climbed down felt around in the water and retrieved the Lugar. 
When my grandfather finished telling me this story that I never ever heard he handed me a box. When I opened it inside was that very same officer's Lugar. It's compete with German writing and a very ominous frightening German swastika embossed into the metal.
Now when I handle that pistol my imagination runs wild of how it came to be in my hands.

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Wendy said…
I bet that had to sound like a "tall tale" until you saw that Luger. What a fascinating family treasure and war memorabilia. I bet it's quite valuable.
Bob Scotney said…
Now you need a photo of your grandfather with the Luger.
Peter said…
I bet that if I would post a photo of my grandfather with a Luger, I would have the police on my doorstep before I had time to write my next SS-post :) Still, it is remarkable your father never told you this! And chasing a German officer, that's equally remarkable to say the least.
Wow. What a thrilling story. And to think you have that piece of war history now. fascinating post.
Postcardy said…
Great picture and great story about the Lugar.
Alan Burnett said…
It is indeed a great picture, there is something very compelling about the way your father is looking out of the photograph - it is an image that stays in the mind even after you have stopped looking at the photograph.
Kathy said…
Yes, that is a great picture! And quite a story. It makes you wonder, though, why the "rest of the story" remained silent for so many years.
Wow! What an amazing story about your father! And to have a photo of him like this is truly a treasure!
I like that the gun was provided as proof.
Great story!!
Kat Mortensen said…
How amazing to have both that photo of your father, and the Luger that he took great pains to rescue. How fortunate that it wasn't used on HIM!
Mike Brubaker said…
A super story and photo, and very appropriate for the Sepia theme and Veterans Day too!
Yes, what a wonderful story to have of your father and the photo of your Dad in front of the his radio station is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Just wanted to let you know that this post is listed on today's Fab Finds post at
Wow, that's a nice connection to the past.

It's hard for those who served to talk about the past. I have heard a lot of stories over the years from WW2 vets, stories the seldom tell. I keep reminding them to tell the stories or at least write them down so they aren't lost through time. They need to be a part of a families history.

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