One Man's Quest to Return 14,000 Dog Tags from World War II
One relic hunter discovered the find of a lifetime when he unearthed some 14,000 dog tags outside of London that he believes to be from World War II soldiers.
Dan Mackay, 37, first discovered the dog tags in a field near an anti-aircraft battery south of the capital, the Telegraph reported. He has now embarked on a quest to find and return the dog tags to the families of their owners.
“The excitement was almost unbearable, it was as if someone had lifted the lid on a treasure chest full of silver coins,” Mackay told the Telegraph.
"It's starting to feel like a full-time job — and certainly not one that normal people do. But now we're desperate to return the dog tags we've found and I will travel nationwide, if that's what it takes."
Mackay has already located eight families and repatriated their loved ones' dog tags—without the help of the British Legion who turned down his request for war records.
Mackay's discovery is nowhere near the first of its kind. While dog tags are not a frequent find in Western Europe, residents across the continent often uncover World War II-era relics, including old weapons in particular.
A group of young children at the beach discovered a piece of a German mine while playing on vacation in England last year, forcing the entire beach to be evacuated.
And earlier this year, a school age boy in Denmark found a Nazi warplane while working on a project for school. His family had long spoken of a Luftwaffe plane that crashed in their backyard in Birkelese, and he and his father went out with a metal detector with low expectations. The father-son pair were shocked to unearth the plane, along with the remains of its pilot in an unusual discovery.