You are the owner of this article.

George Deluca found friendship in occupied Germany

From the Stories from Frederick County's World War II veterans series
  • 0
  • 1 min to read
George Deluca

George Deluca sits for a photo at St. Joseph's Ministries in Emmitsburg in August 2017. 

When George Deluca’s draft number came up, he deferred his high school graduation in Wanamie, Pennsylvania, to join the Army. He entered the European theater in the last days of the Battle of the Bulge and stayed on in the occupation of Germany.

Deluca worked as a bartender at the Berlin officers club, where he connected with an Italian prisoner of war. The prisoner was not allowed to send letters home. Deluca devised a scheme to help his friend communicate with his family by forwarding messages through Deluca’s Italian-born mother in the States.

“He couldn’t write to his family back home in Italy to say that he was still alive,” Deluca said. “I used to write a letter to my mother telling her that he couldn’t talk to his people in Italy. What my mother would do is translate what I told her into Italian and send it by American mail, which got over there to his mother. And his mother wrote back to my mother in English and my mother would translate it into Italian and send it to me so he’d know his family knew he’s alive.”

When Deluca, now 91, and his family visited Italy in the 1990s, he tried tracking down his wartime friend.

“He was from Ferrara, Italy. I tried calling the phone company to see if he has a phone or something. There was a number by his name but it wasn’t him,” Deluca said. “I couldn’t find him.”

— Cameron Dodd

Follow Cameron Dodd on Twitter: @CameronFNP.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.