(WHTM) — A Lancaster County woman searching for more information about her grandfather who fought in World War II, found that and a whole lot more. A few dozen pictures led her down an unexpected path toward an unexpectedly good outcome.

Pictures and wartime souvenirs are all Sharon Bertz has left of her grandfather.

“That was France and I guess he’s sitting in some rubble,” Bertz said, sorting through photos. “This is him with two French girls on their way to school.”

Her grandfather, also known as World War II veteran Mike Cammarata.

“He was in the 509th Light Pontoon company,” Bertz said.

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Bertz’s grandfather died in the 1970s when she was a teenager. More than 20 years later, she started to learn more about his time in the war.

“In 2003, my grandmother just gave me this box, and she said, you’re the only one who really asked me questions and wants to know about his time during the war, so when I opened the box, there were pictures, there were bullets,” Bertz said. “They’re heavy, I can’t imagine getting hit with one.”

Instead of letters, Bertz’s grandfather mostly sent pictures home. Sorting through them, Bertz learned he was an engineer in the army.

“They built bridges, they made pontoon boats to get troops across rivers,” she said. “The engineers were usually the ones that showed up first, so they came into gunfire, sniper fire.”

Bertz wanted to know more, the stories behind these photos.

“Just try to find information on the company which was really hard to do,” she explained.

Struggling to find what she was looking for, Bertz took to Facebook, creating a page and posting her grandfather’s photos.

“Because I thought there might be other people like me who wanted to know more about that group,” she said.

Bertz was right. Those other people found her.

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“I was coming up with various google searches and came across this Facebook page of Mike Cammarata 509th Engineer Light Pontoon Company and I said, I’ll be a son of a gun, it’s the same unit,” Dan Malley said. “And here’s a group photo…right smack in the middle on the front row, is my father. “

Malley was doing his own research, piecing together his father’s time in the war.

“Dad rarely if ever spoke about his experience in the war. I knew he was a master sergeant in the army, and that he was in the engineers. Other than that, I knew very little,” Malley said.

He saw that picture of his father and reached out to Bertz.

“I went through every picture I have with a magnifying glass,” she said.

As it turns out, that group photo wasn’t the only photo of Malley’s dad.

“I recognized him right here and then on the back it says, ‘Here I am, having a glass of beer with a few friends,'” Bertz said. “And when I saw the picture, I realized he was in so many of these pictures.”

“Here was 2 guys from Philly…8000 miles away…having a beer together,” Malley said.

Bertz and Malley joined forces, sharing the stories they knew so far and forging a new friendship decades in the making.

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“Here we are 80 years later, witnessing this, this friendship,” Malley said.

Bertz added, “We are going to continue the friendship that the men had from 80 years ago.”

For both of them, the most important thing her grandfather and his father left behind is the sacrifice these young men made for future generations.

“Each one of these guys in this photo put their life on the line,” Malley said.

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“They were kids changing the world,” Bertz said.