A World War II dog tag buried on D-Day’s Utah Beach in Normandy for 70 years has been returned to the widow of the soldier who lost it.
Fox59 in Indianapolis reports that Army Sgt. James Wallace of Indiana survived the war but died in 1997 never knowing what happened to the lost tag.
“Oh, dear, oh. Oh, dear,” Catherine Wallace cried as she held the lost tag for the first time Thursday. “I don’t believe it.”
Sgt. Wallace had the tag on when he landed on Utah Beach as part of the D-Day invasion. Wallace, awarded two Bronze Stars during the war, lost it soon after that.
This past summer Frenchman Francois Blaizot found the tag as he scoured Utah Beach with a metal detector and then mailed it to the U.S.
Cory Goodwin, a volunteer with the Grant County Veterans Affairs Office in Indiana, presented it to the widow.
“This is such a unique story and the fact that this dog tag was found X amount of years later is astounding, it really is,” Goodwin told Fox59.
Wallace joined the Army in 1943 and served for two years, the Indianapolis Star reported. He was a member of the Indianapolis Fire Department for 21 years.
Blaizot returned the dog tag with a small bag of sand from Utah Beach where he found it.
He also enclosed a note that read in part:
Dear Madame Wallace,
It is a real pleasure to give to you back the dog tag of your husband. It is a way for me to pay tribute to the men like your husband who came in our country to restore liberty.