Seventy years since Allied troops landed on France’s Normandy beaches to attack the occupying German forces, a dog tag has been found buried in the sand and returned to the soldier’s family.
The World War Two dog tag was found on Utah Beach with the name and details of US Army Sergeant James Wallace. Wallace did in fact survive the D-Day landings and the entire war. He returned to America after the war and died in 1997.
The dog tag has been returned to Wallace’s widow who is still alive and lives in their home in Indiana.
Catherine Wallace finally received the dog tag last week and was overwhelmed with emotion as she held the identity tag for the first time.
James was honoured with two Bronze Stars for his actions during World War Two, but lost his tags soon after he was given the awards, the Fox News reports.
The tag was found by war enthusiast Francois Blaizot. Francois scours the beaches where the Normandy landings took place with his metal detector looking for military artefacts and items left over from the offensive.
When he found the tag he sent it to the US Army in the mail, along with a small sample of the sand from the beach where it was found. Francois sent an accompanying note to Catherine. He said that finding the tag or artefacts like it and being able to return them to the veteran owners or their families, is his way of saying thank you to all the troops who took part in liberating France.
The records were identified and the Grant County Veterans Affairs Office in Indiana located Catherine as James’s surviving family.
Catherine could not believe that 70 years after the D-Day landings she was holding a piece of her husband’s history.
James had joined the US Army in 1943 and served until 1945. When he returned from the war he joined the fire service and worked for the Indianapolis Fire Department for over 20 years.