By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) – What once was lost, 70 long years ago, is finally found.

A Chelmsford World War II veteran has gotten back something he never thought he’d see again.

Bill Ledwell, 92 years old, lost his dog tag from when he served as a sailor in the Pacific during World War II.

Thanks to a man with a metal detector and some amateur sleuthing, Ledwell has the perfect way to celebrate Veterans Day.

“Amazing. It really is amazing,” Ledwell said. “It brings back memories, that’s what it does.”

tag2 WWII Veteran Reunited With Dog Tag He Lost 70 Years Ago

Bill Ledwell. (WBZ-TV)

Ledwell lost his dog tags in 1947 when he was in Green Cove Springs, Florida, mothballing ships after the war.

That’s where Frank Haggard comes in.

The Vietnam veteran lives in Green Cove and was using his metal detector one day at a river that was at low tide. Bingo. He found the dog tag, and then he found Bill.

“We sent it on a Friday and he called me up Saturday morning. He says, ‘I got my dog tag around my neck, back where it belongs,’” Haggard told WBZ-TV.

tags3 WWII Veteran Reunited With Dog Tag He Lost 70 Years Ago

Frank Haggard with Bill Ledwell’s dog tag. (WBZ-TV)

“I couldn’t believe it could be found. But I knew they use metal detectors today and I never suspected it could happen, but it did. He found it right in the river,” Ledwell said.

Though they’re years apart in age, BIll and Frank share a bond.

They’re both Navy veterans who served in very different wars. And for William Raynes Ledwell, having his dog tag back makes this Veterans Day that much more special.

“It’s like part of your life, it’s what it is,” he says.


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