Digest>Archives> September 2003

Unusual Lighthouse Collectibles

By Timothy Harrison


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There are so many different areas of lighthouse collecting it’s really unbelievable. This 1986 DC Comic book from the Sgt. Rock series was published in June of 1986.

It’s a World War II story about Sgt. Rock and his U. S. Army squadron who become close friends with an Italian lighthouse keeper named Pietro who took over the job at the lighthouse from his father before him who was also the lighthouse keeper. The lighthouse was Pietro’s family and he had never married, instead devoting his life to the lighthouse.

The story goes on to tell how German landing craft were approaching the area, Sgt Rock tried to get Pietro to extinguish the light so the Germans could not land and would crash on the rocks. Pietro refused saying a lighthouse should never be extinguished, no matter what the circumstances. He fought Sgt. Rock knocking him out. As the first German craft approached they fired on the shoreline at the docks and Pietro saw two of his closest friends die in the explosions.

The lighthouse keeper then realized how foolish he had been and removed all the grenades from Sgt Rock, who was lying unconscious at the base of the lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper then proceeded to the lantern room and strapped himself to the beacon and with the grenades. He pulled the pin on one causing a tremendous explosion the extinguished the light as well as killing himself. Naturally, without the light to guide them, the remaining enemy landing craft crashed into the rocks and were sunk.

Since only a small enemy force was able to reach shore safely, the American troops were able to win the battle, which they otherwise, being way outnumbered, would have surely lost. It was the lighthouse keeper, who in giving up his own life, helped win the war.

In the end, one of the soldiers says to the Sergeant, “We almost bought it, Rock!” to which Sgt. Rock replied, “Yeah . .by a light that wouldn’t die.”

This story appeared in the September 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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