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.
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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