View Full Version : A message in a bottle

11-04-2011, 07:22 AM
August 10, 1952. It 's a beautiful summer day, and Mr. Alfredo, as often, decides to get up early to take a walk on the beach of Villasimius.
Then the beach of Villasimius, on the south-east tip of Sardinia, not far from Cagliari, was even more pristine than today, as nowadays bully and mass tourism was still far to come.
During his walk, Mr. Alfredo sees stranded on the beach a lot encrusted bottle, but clearly still well sealed and with something that seems or could be a message inside.
Faced with this classic curiosity that one can encounter when walking on the beach, Mr. Alfredo opens it immediatly ... there is a piece of cloth with a text still readable.
He still can not believe his eyes ... but immediately decides: no more sea today, he has to run to the Capitaneria di porto (Coastal guard command).
What did the message say?
"Royal Ship Fiume - kind sirs please give my news to my dear mother while I'm dying for the Fatherland. Sailor Chirico Francesco, Futani via Eremiti 1, Salerno. Thank you kind sirs - Long life to Italy!"
The message had been written 11 years before, in the opposite side of the Mediterranean sea, during the battle of Cape Matapan (Greece) in march 1941, when the cruiser Fiume, with other Italian ships was sunk by the British fleet!!!
Soon a research was made: the piece of cloth was actually a piece of the cloth covering machine guns, and among the MIAs of the crew (735 people, plus 79 KIAs and 269 survivors, among prisoners or rescued) there was a sailor with that name.
The message was delivered to the mother of the poor sailor in a fraction of Futani, village not far from Cape Palinuro, in Campania. The father, who had never despaired of the return of his son, had died in 1948. The poor mother had the consolation that the last think of her son was to his dear mother and to the Fatherland.
This event had much prominence in the Italian chronicles of that year and moved the whole Italy.
In memory of the sailor Francesco Chirico was decreed a bronze medal for military bravery: "... before disappearing into the sea with the unit, confirmed his high military spirit by giving to the waves a message of faith and love for the Country that, after eleven years, was found in the Italian coast." Never such a decoration was better deserved.

11-04-2011, 07:53 AM
DVX Hello, here is a lovely story, it is rare to find a particular message in a bottle 11 years after the fact. But how have you been aware of this story.
friendships Fred

11-04-2011, 09:52 AM
Really moving dear Fred. When I read it for the first time, I had some tears... and still now... :cry:
It' a quite famous episode, for example reported by many books about Italian Navy in WW2. Surely by the book of Gianni Rocca "Fucilate gli ammiragli".

Here in sequence the sacred heirloom inside te bottle, the guns of the cruiser Fiume and two nice color pics of the ship in the harbor.


btw Fred, get ready to restore that other pics are coming soon :D;)