08/22/2014 08:39 EDT | Updated 10/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Sam Tridente's son searching for dad's wartime Dixie-cup sailor's hat

It was the end of the war and Vancouver was in the mood to party when in all the revelry U,.S. Navy serviceman Sam Tridente had his Dixie-cup sailor's hat swiped off his head by an exuberant little souvenir-seeker.

"He was stationed in Vancouver, and during VJ day after Japan surrendered, there were wild celebrations in the city of Vancouver," said his son Mike Tridente.

"And apparently a little boy ran up to him, took his hat as a souvenir and this is something he's regretted for 70 years now."

Now the younger Tridente has launched an international search for the traditional Dixie-cup style hat with "S-Tridente" written inside.

"It's from the early 40s so I'm sure if it's still around it's not in the best condition but I think that adds to the whole appeal of it," said Tridente.

Tridente knows finding it is an incredible long shot, but it would be the gift of a lifetime for Sam who turns 90 in May.

If you think you know where the hat might be, you can send a message to Finding Sam's Hat on Facebook.