Skip to comments.Fairbanks duo find more than metal with detectors
Posted on 10/29/2013 6:27:16 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
FAIRBANKS - A couple of buddies with metal detectors made a surprising find recently that led them on an unexpected and fulfilling journey of discovery. Fairbanksans Daniel Camacho and James Fassotte spend hours with metal detectors, looking for hidden treasures in remote locations. Their favorite spot, up the Steese Highway, will remain their secret. Like special berry-picking patches, its not information they particularly want to share. The two friends usually find items like coins, old ammunition, even a 1948 Revlon lipstick case.
But last week, they found a military dog tag. It was an exciting discovery. I heard his metal detector go off, Fassotte said. He hollers at me, so I come over and he pulls out the dog tag. We were jumping up and down with joy and had the high fives going.
All this is recorded on video, he said. They document all their finds that way.
For some reason, the two men felt compelled to track down the name on the dog tag.
We just had an urge to get in touch with him and his family and to return them, Fassotte said. One thing led to another, and we started doing more research.
The dog tag had the name Floyd Haddenham. The tag was marked 0 for his blood type and P for Presbyterian.
According to Fassotte, dog tags made between the late 1930s and early 1970s are somewhat rectangular with curved corners with a little piece out of one edge. Newer tags are oval.
Fassotte, who is retired, did the bulk of the research, Googling the name and scanning microfiche at the library for two days.
Within a week, he learned a bit about the name on the tag.
He discovered Floyd Haddenham was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base from 1950-1953. He married Dorothy Irene Sherrod on Dec. 16, 1952, at the Church of Christ on 11th Avenue.
Old Fairbanks Daily News-Miner stories covered the wedding and called it ... a beautiful candlelight ceremony. Fassotte tracked down Floyds twin brother Lloyd, who is 85 and lives in Ohio.
The first phone call I did, Im on the phone with Floyds brothers wife and she was excited, Fossette said. I didnt know what to say, except I found some dog tags What he learned was that twin brother Floyd and Lloyd joined the military together.
They were both under age, but that was the thing to do back then, for your country, Fassotte said. They did a short three-year stint prior to 1950, were out of the military for three months, then rejoined in 1950. Lloyd went to Japan. Floyd went to Germany.
Floyd is deceased. He and his wife Dorothy never had children, so the dog tag will be passed on through his niece, Fassotte said.
The Fairbanks duo is sending the dog tag to the Haddenham family, along with photos Fassotte retrieved of the wedding story in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and photos of the church.
Its part of who they are, their family, and they can pass it down, Fassotte said They can keep those stories going, so its not forgotten. You can see why I love this hobby so much, he said.
Just making that familys day a little brighter, made it all worthwhile, he said.
This experience has inspired the pair to do more research. Turns out Camacho has collected quite a few dog tags during the years with his metal detector.
Theyll see if they can return those dog tags as well.
No. The token was a separate find, if I’m reading the article right. The tag was found by itself.
You never know what you might find.
Both of my grandfathers were on the Western Front in WW 1 (42 nd and 36 th Divisions). I have my maternal Grandfather’s dog tags tied on an old piece of shoelace. They are round and look handstamped—— and they do look like dogtags. He was a PFC medic.
Also have his 1919 Army discharge in a nice tri-fold leather cover.
Nice. I wish I had something from my grandfathers service in WWII.
If you are lucky for them to still be around don’t hesitate to ask questions. I wish I had done that a lot more.