US air force veteran reunited with dog tags lost in Suffolk 70 years ago
- Credit: Archant
When US airman Raymond Odom lost his dog tags while serving at RAF Knettishall in the Second World War, he thought he would never see them again.
But 70 years on, with the help of an eagle-eyed metal detectorist, the 93-year-old, from Farmerville, Louisiana, can wear them with pride once more.
The former 388th Bomb Group member's lost tags were found in May 2016 at the historical grounds of RAF Knettishall at RAF Honington by groundsman Andy Fuller.
Knettishall was the home of the B-17 Flying Fortress, a US aircraft used for targeting naval installations.
The tags are stamped with the military member's name, rank and service number.
You may also want to watch:
They were passed on to Cpl Ed Stanley, an armourer at Honington, who set about tracking down Mr Odom.
He soon found he was alive and well.
- 1 Person pulled from car as rain lashes region
- 2 Road closed due to accident after car reportedly flips on to its roof
- 3 Teenager who lost driving licence receives surprise in post
- 4 Seven fire engines called to blaze on housing estate
- 5 ‘It went up like a matchstick’ - Neighbour’s horror at blaze
- 6 Dad's heartache over daughter's suicide and his fight to help others
- 7 7 of the prettiest streets in Norfolk
- 8 Rovers return? New landlords relaunch village pub with parties and Sunday lunches for dogs
- 9 Caroline Flack's mum to open 'grief café' in Norfolk
- 10 Huge blast proof bunker with acre of land for sale by auction
Arrangements were made to bring the tags to the US, with staff at RAF Mildenhall mounting them on to a frame with pictures of Mr Odom from his service days.
They were presented to him at home, having been flown across to Barksdale Air Base in Louisiana, with a representative for local Congressman Ralph Abraham in attendance, as well as Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, 8th Air Force commander.
Mr Odom said: 'It's a real honor to have you people here to recognize me.
'I feel very humbled and honoured that you're here to do this. Thank you very much.'
His daughter, Debbie Ball - who was first contacted by RAF Mildenhall through social media - said the return of the tags was a significant moment.
'It was a great honor to have you all here, and it meant the world to me and my family,' she said. 'I know my father was incredibly humbled and honored.'
An American flag which had flown over the White House was also presented to Mr Odom.
Have you been part of a magic moment? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org