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This is the untold story of a proud Italian named Pietro Paolo Vaudo who was born in Gaeta, Italy, in 1915. Through his memoirs, he recalls his early years of schooling and some memorable misadventures that lured him into the workforce at an early age. He recounts his family’s fishing business and his contentious relationship with his oldest brother. Although he learned to fish as a young child, he grew increasingly dissatisfied with the prospects of living his whole life as a fisherman in the small town of Gaeta.
He joined the Italian Navy shortly before his twentieth birthday for a tour of 28 months. At that time, he had no idea of the true duration of his military service and of the harsh and perilous events that were to come. As World War II raged on, Italy extended his naval service, and he was subsequently captured by the Germans as a prisoner of war. He shares with us his unexpected travels and remarkable events as a prisoner of war with incredible detail. As his captors moved him from place-to-place, he shares with us his thoughts of survival as he holds out hope of returning home to his birthplace – Gaeta, Italy.
Not long after his return to Gaeta, he told his mother and family that he was “going to America.” He details his travels to America and his unusual “Italian style” courtship with his wife-to-be. The journey to America and his courtship were also not flawless undertakings. He persevered and made it to America, married, and had a son to carry forward the Vaudo surname and family lineage. He stayed in “America” the rest of his life but chose to remain an Italian citizen residing in the United States.
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