March 28, 2016 11:30 AM EDT

In July of 1944, Edric Costain arrived in Bastia, Corsica, to serve as a Motor Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class in the U.S. Navy. His vessel was the PT-305—a patrol torpedo boat—which had arrived in Corsica a few months earlier. During the year or so that followed, Costain maintained a scrapbook full of snapshots of the ship’s crew, their location and the vessel itself.

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When the war ended, the PT boat was sold and modified to serve as a commercial oyster boat. After decades as a fishing vessel, it’s now being restored to wartime condition by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, which aims to launch the refurbished ship in Lake Pontchartrain in early 2017.

The museum acquired Costain’s scrapbook as a gift from his daughter in 2010, providing the world a valuable opportunity to peek inside an individual’s experience of World War II.

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