Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sailor's Lost Peacoat Resurfaces 65 Years Later

A U.S. Navy Sailor who got drunk in San Francisco and lost his peacoat in March 1941 has located it in Belgium through the Internet. Tony Gellepis, 85, recalls the night he was on liberty, and even the bar he was in when he took off the double-breasted dark blue coat with two rows of big black buttons. He was astounded earlier this year when his son, Jim, wrote from his home in Tallahassee, Fla., saying he had done a Google search on the family name, and found the coat for sale on the eBay auction site, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported.The eBay listing said the coat was Size 38, "Marked on the inside with T.J. Gellepis." The coat had been sold by the time the elder Gellepis learned of it, but his son tracked down the purchaser in Belgium. The buyer was Danny De Block, who is expanding a World War II museum in Lokeren and plans to display the coat as part of a full Navy uniform. He has asked Gellepis to send his war story and a photo to include in the exhibit, the newspaper said.

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