the travel geek

"Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form."

Decimomannu, Sardinia

In April 1957, the RCAF opened an Air Weapons Unit in Decimamannu, Sardinia, Italy, to be used as a air-to-air gunnery and compliment the French Air Base at Rabet-Sale, Morocco. Decimamannu was owned by the Italian Air Force, but was also actively used by Canadian, German, and NATO forces. Right and below are photos taken by my grandfather while he was in Decimamannu for training.

I also found a message from the Canadian Commanding Officer in the Decimomannu Information Booklet for Canadian Troops. I thought it rather cute:

“This information booklet is published to help you as a visitor enjoy your brief tour of duty in Sardinia. The people of Sardinia are most friendly and hospitable; they are also curious and inquisitive about Canadians. Your actions will be carefully watched since many local people have relatives in North America and therefore are naturally interested in the “New World.”

Canadians have been accepted as friends of Italy as well as NATO partners. To ensure that our good relations continue, you are asked to remember at all times that you are representatives of Canada. You are the only Canadians these people see, therefore make sure that you as a guest on their island leave the right impression.”

My grandfather labelled the photos in the gallery as follows:

  • deci-08-19: Entrance to Camp Deci
  • deci-08-20: Guys Playing Ball
  • deci-08-21: Leo & Stan with Friend
  • deci-08-22: River at Dechy
  • deci-08-23: Wash Day Italy
  • deci-08-24: Donkey Transport
  • deci-08-25: Streets of Dechy
  • deci-08-26: Great Town of Dechy

Other photos taken by my grandfather in the 1950s can be found under the “Papa’s Photos” tag.

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