World War II Helmet Found in the Poconos

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STROUDSBURG -- Albert Compoly is the director of operations at St. Luke's Catholic Church on Main Street in Stroudsburg.

Last year, he found a World War II helmet while sorting through donations for the church's annual flea market.

"People bring stuff in and at some point, I was rummaging through and just sorting things out and I found this old helmet. So being a veteran, I took it aside and hung it up on my wall over here," said Albert Compoly, St. Luke's Catholic Church.

After tinkering with the green Army helmet, Compoly says he found a name etched near the brim -- Frank Santacroce.

The discovery led the Air Force veteran to do a little digging to find out more about the person who once wore the helmet.

"He was a World War II veteran. He was in Italy and Germany, and he was an engineer. He died in 2009," said Compoly.

At the bottom of Santacroce's obituary, there was contact information for the American Legion in Sag Harbor, New York.

After a few phone calls, Compoly got in touch with the daughter of Frank Santacroce and told her what he had found.

"She couldn't believe it. She said it was like part of her father coming back home again," said Compoly.

Compoly says the family on Long Island will soon get the helmet back and they have plans for where it will go.

Once the family gets the helmet back, they won't keep it for long. It will go to a museum in Sag Harbor where the American Legion is currently building a museum. There it will go on display right next to Frank Santacroce's uniform.

"It would have been thrown out if someone didn't want it, so we were very happy we were able to sort of rescue it," said Compoly.

The Santacroce family will be presented with the helmet in November at the Mount Pocono American Legion annual Veterans Day dinner.


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