Second World War Flying Veteran Reunited With Lost Dog Tag

Raymond Odom, 93, lost his dog tag in Britain during World War II. In May, a metal detectorist found the tag while searching Odom’s former base, RAF Knettishall.

They contacted the US Air Force at RAF Mildenhall who found Odom in Louisiana by reaching out to his daughter.

8th Air Force commander Major General Thomas Bussier returned the tag to Odom at his home.

Odom lives in a care home with his wife in Farmerville, Louisiana. According to his daughter, Debbie Ball, he has only recently begun to speak about his experiences during the war. He still has trouble talking about people he knew that left on missions and never returned.

Aerial photograph of Knettishall Airfield, England.
Aerial photograph of Knettishall Airfield, England.


Andy Fuller received permission from Colin Davey, the current owner of the land the former base was built on, to sweep the property with a metal detector.

Fuller is a groundsman at RAF Honington. He gave the tag to Corporal Ed Stanley who did some research and reached out to Ball.

Senior Master Sergeant Brian Boisvert from RAF Mildenhall said that he received an email from RAF Honington stating that the tag was found. They then developed a plan to return it to Odom.

Odom joined the US Army Air Force in 1943. He served in the 388th Bomb Group.

Later that year, he was posted to Knettishall.

The 388th no longer exists. If it did, it would be under the 8th Air Force, so that’s why the 8th Air Force had the honor of returning the tag, BBC News reported.

“It’s a real honor to have you people here to recognize me,” said Odom.

Ian Harvey

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