When Bill Ladd went out onto a Massachusetts beach last year after a storm, he likely didn’t anticipate that his metal detector would pick up a piece of history, but what he discovered was a World War II veteran’s dog tags which had been lost some 70 years ago.
Cpl. William Benn, who manned a gun during the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, lost the dog tags at a coastal artillery placement on Salisbury Beach in 1939. The year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Benn shot down several Japanese airplanes while serving as a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber during the Battle of Midway, and was later awarded the Silver Star.
Benn died in 2002, but thanks to Ladd and Purple Hearts Reunited, an organization which places lost medals back in the proper hands, the dog tags were given to Benn’s son Sunday.