WWII dog tag returned to family

June 7, 2007 at 3:38 PM
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HUNTINGDON, Tenn., June 7 (UPI) -- A dog tag found on a Normandy, France, beach nearly 60 years after it was lost in World War II has been returned to the Huntingdon, Tenn., family of its owner.

The dog tag, bearing the name of U.S. Army Pvt. William Bernice Clark, was lost on Omaha beach when Clark was killed during the first wave of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, the Jackson, Tenn., Sun reported Thursday.

Ava and Lloyd Smothers, Clark's cousins, were presented with the dog tag by an official with the National D-Day Memorial Foundation during a ceremony Wednesday marking the 63rd anniversary of the Western Allied invasion.

The dog tag was discovered by an Englishman on Omaha Beach in 2002. A New Jersey collector eventually gained custody of the item until it was given to the D-Day Memorial Foundation in Bedford, Va., which presented the item to Clark's family.

"It's just a very thrilling experience," Ava Smothers said. "Well, it's something that happens just once in a lifetime. I just couldn't believe it was actually happening."

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