The Solution To A Small, Personal World War Two Mystery – Medals For Navy Service Returned To The Rightful Owner

The owner of the medals was Paul John DiModica, a sailor who served on the USS McDougall during WWII.
The owner of the medals was Paul John DiModica, a sailor who served on the USS McDougall during WWII.

The mystery surrounding an American sailor’s WW2 medals has been solved. The medals were left in an old dresser, which was then donated to charity. Nobody knew who had left the medals in the dresser.

 According to Fox 59, Indianapolis the daughter of the sailor to whom the medals had belonged retrieved them from Goodwill. She is the daughter of Paul John DiModica who served on the USS McDougall.

She didn’t know the medals were there before donating the dresser after her mother moved to Florida. Fox reported that the dresser’s new owners were trying to determine the identity of the sailor by following up on clues, and the daughter of the former owner came forward.

Paul John DiModica, the sailor to whom the medals belonged, died aged 83 in Florida, in 2005. He must have loved his country because he was in the armed forces, Susan Terry told Fox. She didn’t know what he had done in the force, or whether he still lived, but she was determined to find out.

Susan Terry came by the dresser when her husband, Clay, bought it and brought it home one day.

“It’s only a little nightstand; plain Jane,” Clay Terry told the broadcaster.

Clay and Susan discovered the medals in the bottom drawer, wrapped up in a plastic bag. The Navy gave the medals to indicate service in specific World War II operations. The dresser also held other articles of personal value, including a photo of DiModica taken during his Navy days and an old Social Security card, Fox News reported.

The discovery struck a chord for Susan Terry. She was thinking about her dad because he was in the Navy for 22 years and her son is in the Marine Corps, she explained to Fox.

Now, thanks to the media attention, the medals have been returned to their rightful owner, the daughter of Paul John DiModica. She collected them recently, in what was no doubt and emotional moment for all.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE