Military dog tag found in River Soar reunited with Illinois family

  • Published
dog tagImage source, Marie Collins
Image caption,
The dog tag was found in a canal in Leicestershire

A group of history hunters who found an old Air Force Military Dog tag in a river have reunited it with the owner's family in the United States.

The tag was discovered by Black Country-based Peaky Dippers in the River Soar, Leicestershire, and traced back to a family in Illinois.

It belonged to Robert M Luetgert, who served in the American Air Force in the 1950s.

Marie Collins, from the group, said it was "one of the best finds we've made".

The historian found the owner's family via social media and said she never dreamt she would hear anything back.

But she had "goosebumps" when she received a reply from Mr Luetgert's granddaughter.

The shocked relative was "blown away" and sent Ms Collins documentation and photographs which showed that Mr Luetgert had been based at RAF Burtonwood in Cheshire in 1956 and returned home a year and three months later.

Image source, FAMILY
Image caption,
Mr Luetgert was based at RAF Burtonwood in Cheshire

Ms Collins said soldiers used to wear two dog tags, so one could be sent back to the family and the other left on the body if they lost their lives.

Mr Luetgert's lost tag has now been sent back to the family and his widow has the second dog tag in America.

Ms Collins said they did not know how the tag ended up in Leicestershire when Mr Luetgert was based in Cheshire, and said "it may have been fast-flowing water carrying it down the river".

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