Military veteran's dog tags found along St. Johns River

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Military history buff and Navy veteran Frank Haggard is being credited with helping a fellow sailor get his dog tags back 70 years after they were lost.

“I found it back in November of last year,” Haggard said.

Haggard said he found the dog tags under muck near docks along the St. Johns River.

“It sat on my work table for a couple months before I even got around to cleaning it,” Haggard said.

But then he cleaned it and brought it to a local archive specialist who did some research.

“I just typed his name in and put in Massachusetts and bingo, there he was in a newspaper article in 2016,” archive specialist Vishi Garig said.

She said she wrote Navy Veteran William Ledwell and he called them and talked about how his dog tags ended up in Green Cove Springs.

Green Cove Springs was the largest training base during WWII for Navy and Marine Corps pilots and after the war, it became home to the largest reserve fleet in the country.

“He said it was 1947. It was right after the war,” Garig said.

He told them he was in charge of stripping down the ships and preserving them. The two sent him his dog tags and they got a warm response from Ledwell.

“I mailed it on a Friday, he called me on a Saturday morning and said he got his dog tag. 'It's around my neck where it should have been all this time,'” Haggard said.

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