SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A North County woman set out on a journey to meet the man who found her father's long-lost Naval Academy ring.
“It was a spectacular adventure. To say the least, meeting Hans was indescribable,” Abby Pilger Boretto said.
United by a remarkable story one that centered around this Naval Academy class ring.
“This started with gratitude I was interested in finally thanking Hans for getting this ring back to me and the world opened,” she said.
The ring belonged to Pilger Boretto’s father a Navy helicopter pilot who died in a crash during a NATO training exercise on the Island of Grytoya in Northern Norway.
She was just 15 months old at the time and never had the chance to know her father.
But decades later a piece of him found its way back to her when Dr. Hans Krogstad came across the ring at the crash site.
"And then I look down and between two small boulders I saw this ring,” Dr. Krogstad said.
Although he did his best to ensure it made it back to the Pilgers. He never knew the outcome and Pilger Boretto never had the chance to thank him. But last year they found one another and started making plans to meet during a very important time.
“The 50 anniversary of the crash was Sept. 23 and so we wanted to celebrate that and memorialize that, and we sure did,” Pilger Boretto said.
Back in the place where it all began.
“I think it’s this quest to visit this site that has been in me my whole life,” she said. “I just, I’m elated and I’m so happy to share it. I think it's a very healing story for many out there.”
Pilger Boretto is now in the middle of filming a documentary about her journey, her father, the crash and the others who lost their lives while serving their country. And although she's managed to track some down, she's still hoping to find more relatives of those other four men.
“So that I can make those connections and they know their family member has forever been memorialized,” she said.