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Modern Mysteries

Mystery surrounds huge haul of WWII dog tags

By T.K. Randall
April 11, 2017 · Comment icon 7 comments

What happened to the men whose names are on the tags ? Image Credit: Public Domain
Military expert Dan Mackay found 14,000 Word War II dog tags buried in a field just outside London.
The 37-year-old has launched an appeal to reunite the tags with their owners after stumbling across thousands of them while out looking for relics at the site of an old World War II anti-aircraft battery.

According to Mackay, the tags were likely to be among the first metal tags manufactured and sent out to replace the older fiber tags worn by soldiers throughout most of the war. The site where the tags were found is also thought to be where the factory that produced them once stood.

"Everywhere we dug in this area we found dog tags," he said. "The finding of the tags didn't seem to be slowing down at all, and in most places they were as lovely as the day they were thrown in."
"The excitement was almost unbearable, it was as if someone had lifted the lid on a treasure chest full of silver coins. I was sure that I stood there open mouthed for several minutes."

It has taken Mackay six months so far to return eight of the tags to their families with three of them actually being returned to the veterans themselves.

Most of them however are likely to belong to those who died during the war.

"From hundreds of hours of research I've found out I have dog tags belonging to thousands of soldiers," he said. "That includes military medal winners, PoWs, foreign medal winners and hundreds mentioned in dispatches - and I still have thousands more to get through."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ouija ouija 7 years ago
Difficult to get excited about this. They're tags that were never used ..... why would you want to waste years of your life tracking down people who, although their names are on the tags, never received them and never wore them? Most of the prospective recipients will be dead, anyway. If they were medals it would be a different matter. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Still Waters 7 years ago
I think it's great that he's going to the trouble of doing this. If the veterans have gone then I'm sure a lot of their relatives would appreciate having something like that returned to them, I know I would.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Adampadum123 7 years ago
I think what this man is doing is very honourable.pepole these days don't realise what these soldiers went through they gave their life for their country and to be given back something from their past might bring them some happiness I think they would deserve that
Comment icon #4 Posted by ouija ouija 7 years ago
Have you read the article? These tags were never given to the soldiers! The soldiers had fabric 'tags' and the 14,000 metal ones that have been found were to be replacements but in fact were never used. This man has spent 6mths finding 8 men (just 13,992 to go!), to give them something they never owned or saw in the first place! Smacks of self-publicity to me. edit to say: for every person who is pleased to get a tag there will be (at least) one who is distressed to be reminded of such an appalling episode in their life. I was born in the early 50s and I can tell you that there were plenty o... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Eldorado 7 years ago
So that metal detectorists could find you if MIA?  More attractive?  China doesn't make fibre ones?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Still Waters 7 years ago
They were still made with the intention of being given to the soldiers. Both my parents were in the forces during WWII. After my mum died last August I found some personal things of theirs from that time which I've kept. To me they are real treasures and I won't part with them for anything. The point being if someone were to contact me now to say they had something from the war which either of my parents should have had but didn't for whatever reason, I would gladly accept and keep on their behalf. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
My Dad died in 2015 @92.  He was the last of his platoon.  The chances of anyone being alive now is slim.  A noble effort, perhaps the children and grandchildren of the men would like them.

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