German Family Discovers WWII-Era Dog Tags Near US Garrison

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WWII-era American dog tags were found near Wiesbaden, Germany
Simon Krieger-Pleus discovered a pair of World War II-era U.S. military identification tags during a nature walk near Wiesbaden, Germany, in July 2020. (Courtesy photo)

While wandering trails near Wiesbaden, Germany, in July, local resident Simon Krieger-Pleus spied something sticking out of the ground. He had discovered a pair of World War II-era U.S. military identification tags, according to a news release from U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

"The silver chain could be seen on the surface and then was dug up," the eldest son of the Krieger-Pleus family said in a statement.

Immediately, the family knew they had discovered an important piece of history that needed to be returned to its proper place.

"It was a very personal and a special treasure," his mother Petra said in the release. "He didn't want to withhold this from the soldier's family."

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Research determined the tags belonged to Pvt. Sammie Lee Williams, who enlisted on March 14, 1944, at the age of 22, deploying from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany. Williams survived the war, returning to the U.S. and living to the age of 81.

Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

U.S. armed forces have been stationed in Wiesbaden since World War II, and U.S. Army Europe Headquarters is now based there.

After coordination with Williams' family, the dog tags will be exhibited in the USAREUR Mission Command Center museum, according to the garrison.

-- Bing Xiao can be reached at bingxiao2020@u.northwestern.edu.

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