WWII veteran's family to receive dog tag

Nov. 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A surviving family member of World War II veteran Addison Arthurs said he is pleased he will soon receive the late Pittsburgh resident's long-lost dog tag.

Arthurs' second cousin Addison Armstrong will receive the dog tag from a 46-year-old Frenchman who first located the troop identification tag in Normandy 30 years ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Wednesday.

Armstrong said he was surprised when French national Etienne Desquesnes tracked his family down through a series of e-mails, phone calls and Internet searches.

"I was shocked," he said. "It really brought back a lot of great memories. He was very much a second father."

Arthurs, who died in 1984 of a heart attack, helped detain 400,000 German prisoners at Normandy during World War II.

Desquesnes' friend, Bertrand Goucovitch, told the Post-Gazette the Frenchman is happy Arthurs' dog tag will finally be in the hands of the former soldier's closest relative.

"Mr. Desquesnes valued this (tag) for nearly 30 years and is happy in the idea that it will go back to its owner's next-of-kin," said Goucovitch, who helped in the search for Arthurs' family.

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