Spanish Army Number tattoo?

So, my great uncle just turned 70 yesterday. While at their party, I noticed he had a tattoo of some numbers on his wrist.

I asked my my mum and she told be about when he was in the Spanish army.. I think it was the air force or something to do with that.. He left the army due to breaking both his legs when he was there.

I've tried to research about this and I can't find any information about this anywhere!

I am interested into knowing why he had the tattoo and what it means..
I would ask him but, he has a STRONG Spanish accent that I honestly can't understand >.<

Can anyone help :) Some interesting stuff!
bradleykeats
Asked Mar 11, 2012
If he's 70 now, he would have been in the military between 1960 and 1975. During that period, a dictator named Franco was the ruler of Spain and I am unaware of any wars the Spanish fought during that period although he could have been injured in a training exercise.

The Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion took place in that time frame as well as military activities in Central America. If you aren't sure it was Spain, those are possibilities. Tattooed numbers sound more like a prison camp than being in the military to me unless that was the number of his unit and he had it put there out of pride.

If you have any friends that speak Spanish, take them with you and interview him. You will likely find it's easier to get by his accent than to find any specific information here.
Rob
Answered Mar 11, 2012
Yes, I was also thinking maybe it was from a prison camp. I heard about those and that to me seems the most likely.
John Gentile one of the Americans swapped out for Cuban spies was tattooed with a number by Castro regime prison guards.

See for instance NIE Telephoto (accessed 11-25-12) Back Behind Bars. Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Sentinel. Thursday, April 25, 1963 page 25.

In my book in long preparation "Love and War in Cuba" I write:

"...the significance of Johnny’s prison number tattoo, so much like that done by the Nazi’s to concentration prisoner camp prisoners seems to have escaped notice. Even then it should have been a red flag to an alert newspaper man. In this regard, relatively recently it has become public knowledge that among the Eastern Block “technicians” who helped Castro set up his dictatorship there were a number of Nazi retreads from East Germany. ..."
larrydaley
Answered Jan 31, 2013

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