WWII Vet's Dog Tags Returned After 66 Years - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WWII Vet's Dog Tags Returned After 66 Years

KHQ.COM - A Marine Corps vet who fought in World War II received an unexpected gift at his retirement home this weekend: a military identification tag he had lost more than six decades ago.

Richard Urie lost the dog tag when he was stationed on the island of Saipan in 1945, reported The Boston Globe on Wednesday. A Saipan resident had found the tag in 1981 in a yam field, reported The Globe, but it was only a few months ago that Urie, an Internet-savvy 86-year-old, found out via his Facebook account that a piece of his military history had been uncovered.

Urie was at home in his Peabody, Mass. senior living community with his four daughters, two sons-in-law, and a friend on Sunday when an assistant U.S. attorney came to deliver the tag, reported The Saipan Tribune.

"This is the most amazing thing to happen to me. When you reach an age of 86, you don't expect any surprises," Urie told the Saipan Tribune via email. "This is a very significant event in my life. It brings back many memories."

Saipan is the biggest of the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific. Urie told media outlets he didn't remember losing his tag, but estimated it was probably about seven months before he was discharged in 1946.

U.S. soldiers in the field wear two identification tags at all times. If they are killed, one tag is collected, and the other stays with the body. Urie held onto his remaining tag, but had no idea that a man named Mike Villagomez, who grew up on Saipan, had found the other tag while clearing rocks in his family's dagu - or white yam - farm when he was 13 years old in 1981, reported The Saipan Tribune. click here to read more

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