Success! With the help of an amazing group of readers of my blog, we have found descendants of our WW2 soldier who lost his dog tags in Australia some 65 years ago.
The clues we had were a dog tag found by Jill in a remote area of Australia. The dog tag gave us the name Randall E. Packard, his ID# and a next of kin name, presumably his wife - Margaret L. Packard, and an Illinois address.
Jill asked for my help on my Ask Olive Tree blog to find Randall's descendants so the dog tag could be returned to family.
So I put out a call on both my blogs and miraculously, within a day, several readers put their genealogy research skills to work and found a great deal about Randall.
Then we hit gold - we found Randall's wife, still alive at age 90, and Randall's son. While I was pondering how best to approach Randall's son with the news, one of my readers (Gord) phoned Randall's wife. She was very pleased and excited and the word spread in their family.
Several grandchildren posted comments on the original story on my blog. Randall's son and daughter also posted comments. The comments show how loved and admired our soldier was. Everyone seems very excited and thrilled to think that their dad and grandpa's dog tags are coming home (courtesy of Jill in Australia)
But there's more! I've been corresponding with Rev. Charles (Randall's son) and on his Church website he wrote a Devotional which I think will interest readers.
Rev. Charles also shared with me an email from a former employee of Randall who wrote to Randall's son as soon as he heard about the dog tag. The email was very touching and showed once again what a strong impact Randall Packard had on those with whom he came in contact.
And one last thing, Gord has offered to put together a package of materials for the family which will provide them with all the data readers found in the search, as well as the sources. What a lovely gift!
So everyone who participated, give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back! You deserve it.
Now that we've had such wonderful success as a team, I'd love to do the same for our other WW2 soldier Stanley Thompson. Jill approached me for help with another find - the Dog Tag for Stanley Thompson With the help of my readers we found quite a bit about Stanley but never found a living descendant. Perhaps we can have another hunt for Stanley's family and bring the same joy to them as Randall's family found.