Bracelet Returned to Vet After 66 Years


A World War II soldier from South Carolina got a bracelet back that he lost in Italy during the war 66 years ago.

Jim Turck first received the bracelet from his mother, shortly after he joined the war in 1943, The Courier, Charleston, S.C., reported.

The bracelet bore his name, James J. Turck, and a serial number, along with the inscription "Love, Mother".

Turck served as a ski trooper with the 10th Mountain Division in the northern Apennine Mountains of Italy in 1945, where he lost the bracelet.

"I don't remember losing it," said Turck, now 87 and living on Seabrook Island.

While using a metal detector for the first time, Bruno Bernardoni found the bracelet in the village of Iola in April. It was about a foot underground.

Bernardoni said when he first picked it up he said, "So much hard work for a dog collar," before realizing it was a bracelet. "I realized the importance of that object."

The man, who does not speak English very well enlisted the help of his niece to find the owner.

"My only will was to forward the bracelet to its owner or to his family members," Bernardoni said.

Through some Internet research, Bernardoni's niece found Tom Hames, the 10th Mountain Division Foundation chairman in Colorado, and e-mailed him to try and find Turck or his family members.

Hames searched the foundation's records and found Turck's name and address in a list of members. He contacted the veteran, who confirmed the bracelet was his through his serial number.

"It's pretty neat," Hames said of the story.

Bernardoni mailed the bracelet to the foundation, which received it on Aug. 16 and promptly forwarded it to Turck.

"It's unbelievable," said Turck, who received the bracelet Aug. 24. "After 66 years underground, it is in relatively good condition."

"It's really an amazing story that something like this could be found 66 years later," his wife, Becky, said. "Mr. Bernardoni went through a lot of trouble to get it back, and he wasn't asking for anything in return."

Turck mailed Bernadoni a copy of "Soldiers on Skis: A Pictorial Memoir of the 10th Mountain Division," gave him his address on Seabrook Island and welcomed a visit from him if he ever comes to the United States.

"He must be a great guy," Turck said.

Show Full Article

Related Topics

Offbeat News