WW2 veteran’s dog tag returned to family in America following discovery in Norfolk field

A cutting from The Coast Advertiser showing Mr Cox and his brothers. Photo: Andrew Currie

A cutting from The Coast Advertiser showing Mr Cox and his brothers. Photo: Andrew Currie


A dog tag belonging to an American Second World War veteran has been returned to his family following its discovery in a Norfolk field.

The dog tag discovered by Andrew Currie. Photo: Andrew CurrieThe dog tag discovered by Andrew Currie. Photo: Andrew Currie

Chef Andrew Currie, from Costessey, found the relic with a metal detector while searching the site of a former military barracks near Dereham.

Despite being more than 70-years-old, the owner’s name, service number and address are still visible.

It had once belonged to Albert M Cox, from Belmar, New Jersey, who was stationed in England during the war.

Using the internet, Mr Currie, 37, was able to dig up a wealth of information about the former serviceman - and trace his family.

Chef Andrew Currie, who discovered the item near Dereham. Photo: Andrew CurrieChef Andrew Currie, who discovered the item near Dereham. Photo: Andrew Currie

He said: “I Googled the soldier’s name and service number, and it took me to a website where he featured in a New Jersey newspaper in May 1944.

“Him and his four brothers were posted around the world, and the article was in honour of his mother for having five sons in service.”

A cutting from the now-defunct Coast Advertiser features a photo of Mr Cox, along with his four brothers.

It revealed that he was a corporal who joined the army in February 1943, before entering the air force.

Writing to the editor, Mr Cox said at the time how “proud” he was that his brothers were also serving in the military.

He survived the war, but later died in 1989 in Peekskill, New York.

Despite this, Mr Currie managed to trace the veteran’s living relatives using Facebook.

He made contact with Mr Cox’s daughter and arranged to send the dog tag back to the family in New York.

Mr Currie said: “As much as it was nice to find it and research it, it does not hold any sentimental value to me, and it really belongs to the family.

“I’ve had messages from them saying ‘thank you so much’. It is quite touching.”

Mr Currie posted the dog tag to the family on Monday, having found it on March 12 this year with his friend Adrian Jarrett.

He said he discovered the identification tag buried six-inches underground.

“You don’t expect to find something like that,” Mr Currie said. It [using a metal detector] is a bit like fishing, you never know what you will catch.

“I was quite excited though, because it was on my wish list of things I wanted to find.”

Albert Cox’s letter to The Coast Advertiser

The Coast Advertiser article said Mr Cox had been associated with the Cleveland Construction company before he entered into the army.

It said he transferred to the air force and went through his basic training at Atlantic City. He then received advanced training at Salt Lake City, Utah, and Sioux City, Iowa, before being sent to England.

In a letter to the paper’s editor, Mr Cox wrote: “I would like to send my sincere thanks to you and all the personnel of The Coast Advertiser and to tell you the happy times the paper brings me each week.

“I would like to say a word for the Red Cross, who are doing a really swell job over here.

“I am also very proud to know that now serving in the army and navy are my four brothers, and I know that my mother and dad feel very proud that we’re all in good health, and able to serve our country, which is the best in the world.”

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