I remember guys like Brian Wolfe but in the Army. They always had the Nikon F, I was envious. And the US Army must have forgiven the Germans quickly as I found a complete Leica set up (IIIf with many lenses and VISO) at a milgroup in San Salvador. I do remember the photogs saying that the F was really a tough camera.
Sorry, to hear about your friend, he really stayed with what he loved.