Florida woman finds WWII dog tags after Hurricane Matthew, returns them to veteran's son

World War II dog tags unearthed by Hurricane Matthew are now back with their rightful owner.

A St. Augustine woman told WJAX she found the tags using a metal detector.

Because the dog tags were in such good condition, she believes they were buried in the dunes and were only unearthed because of the storm. The amazing discovery led her to find the owner of the dog tags.

Explore>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

For 31 years, Barbara Galambos has searched beaches for hidden treasures.

“It’s giving a little piece back from his history,” Galambos said.

One of her latest finds was a pair of World War II dog tags.

“I said 'How do I find this guy, who owned them, how did they get here,'” Galambos said.

So Galambos started a search for Frank Rogers.

“I found his obituary, he passed away in 2010,” Galambos said.

Not ready to give up, Galambos kept digging and found the Marine Corps veteran’s son in South Carolina. She called and then mailed the dog tags to Frank “Buzz” Rogers IV.

“When I held them … it’s kind of like I got chills down my back,” Rogers IV told Action News Jax over the phone. His father was a gifted pilot who joined the Marine Corps at the start of World War II.

“They chose to use him as a flight instructor for the Marine Corps pilots,” Rogers IV said.

Rogers IV said that in 1945, his father was transferred to Naval Air Station Jacksonville to prepare to go overseas. Pages from his father’s flight log show the time he spent in Florida, a place where Rogers IV said his father enjoyed his other love – the beach.

“I’m assuming he went swimming … and they got lost,” Rogers IV said.

A piece of history lost, but now found and returned.

“The first time any human has touched them in 70 plus years … it’s just … truly it’s a miracle,” Rogers IV said.

“I think I’ve made a friend for life… because he was so happy to get that memento back from his dad," Galambos said.

The war ended before Frank Rogers was sent overseas. Rogers IV said he plans on framing the dog tags and presenting them with some of his father’s other military items.

About the Author