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(Captain?) JW Pankiw's Leica IIIa


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I originally joined this forum because I applied for ACISS... But one of my personal hobbies brought me here because I'm on a history hunt, which led me here!

On my spare time I collect and sell cameras as a hobby. I found an interesting camera on a local ad here in Winnipeg, it was a Leica IIIa with German Military inscriptions from WW2.
I picked it up on a hunch that it was real, and not a Russian fake. Contacting a Leica historian, he's confirmed it's indeed a real Kriegsmarine Leica, made in 1939.

This sent me down quite the rabbit hole of finding out information on these cameras, which is all really interesting, however I keep asking myself how the heck did this camera get to Manitoba?

I bought the camera from the previous owners son, he said his dad was in the military, but didn't have any clue how he got the camera.
His father passed in 2006 and based on his obituary was in Public Relations.

Here's a link to the obituary: https://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-88625/PANKIW_JOHN

I looked at Ancestry.ca and found some inconclusive information... Speculation is that it's possible he had a brother/cousin (James Pankiw) that passed away during that time and got the camera from him some how. The other speculation is that it possibly came from one of the POW camps in Canada? Again all speculation, I'm just really curious to find out how this camera got here!