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Archive for Monday, January 16, 2012

World War I dog tags returned to Kansas family

January 16, 2012

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— The dog tag of a World War I infantryman has been returned to his family in Kansas after being lost for more than 90 years on a battlefield in northeastern France.

While searching for artifacts with metal detectors, Michael Toussaint and Jean Claude Fonderflick uncovered the identification tags belonging to several Americans, including Pvt. Kent Potter of Chase County, Kan.

Potter, a member of the 139th Infantry Division, apparently lost the dog tag while serving in 1918 around the town of Liverdun in the Lorraine region, said Potter’s niece, Shirley Lincoln, 72, of Cottonwood Falls, Kan.

Lincoln said the Frenchmen were determined to reunite the dog tags with their owners’ families. Their search led them to Rita Drake of El Paso, Ill., the granddaughter of one of the Americans who lost his dog tag. She helped return one of the dog tags to a Portage, Wis., family and placed a call to the Chase County Historical Society Museum as she searched for Potter’s family.

The museum tracked down Lincoln. She in turn called her uncle’s only son, Dale Potter, 75, of El Dorado, Kan.

Dale Potter received his late father’s dog tags during a ceremony Thursday at the Chase County museum. He has agreed to loan the dog tag and pictures of his father to the museum for six months, Lincoln said.

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