Ser­vices & Pro­fes­sion­als

Cape Coral Living - - Cape Departments - Glenn Miller is pres­i­dent of the South­west Florida His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

Pavese re­calls a sort of tank-like de­vice with “a big ri­fle on it” ap­proach­ing. There was also a com­mand car. “And this colonel, spick and span … rid­ing trousers and shiny boots and one of those swag­ger sticks,” Pavese says. “And he had a hat on. One of those Ger­man hats, and he had a pis­tol on his side. And he got out of the com­mand car and came up to me and said, ‘Are you Amer­i­cans?’ And I said we’re Amer­i­cans. He said he wanted to sur­ren­der.” Just 18 years old, Cpl. Pavese un­der­stand­ably was ner­vous. “If I had a tie on, it would have been go­ing up and down,” Pavese says, ges­tur­ing his hands up and down off his chest, in­di­cat­ing how fast his heart was beat­ing. The colonel told Pavese they didn’t want to sur­ren­der to the Ital­ian guer­rilla force, which he be­lieved would have likely killed all un­der his com­mand. The colonel asked about Pavese’s rank. “He said, ‘I can’t sur­ren­der to you,’” Pavese re­mem­bers. Pavese told the Ger­man about an Amer­i­can colonel back at his base. Then, Pavese says, Kowal­ski asked the Ger­man colonel for his sidearm. The colonel said no. “I told Kowal­ski, get your a— back in that truck,” Pavese re­mem­bers say­ing. Then the Ger­man colonel and the Amer­i­can cor­po­ral went their sep­a­rate ways. The Ger­man went to sur­ren­der to an Amer­i­can colonel, and Pavese con­tin­ued his morn­ing mis­sion of pick­ing up food. “I was run­ning late and had to get food for over 100 soldiers,” Pavese says. Pavese would re­turn to Fort My­ers to be­come a prom­i­nent at­tor­ney, found­ing the Pavese Law Firm in 1949, which is still in op­er­a­tion. Not many peo­ple likely know about his war ser­vice. Now, more than 70 years later, Pavese is proud of his ser­vice and de­scribes him­self as “very pa­tri­otic.” World War II wasn’t fun, by any means. “A bad or­deal,” Pavese says. “Glad I went.” So is Amer­ica.

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