- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

NEWBURGH, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana man says a sharp-eyed French railroad worker who found and returned his father’s long-lost World War II dog tags “is a special guy” he hopes to visit next year.

The worker, Jeremy Masclif, was digging along railroad tracks in Voves, France, when he spotted a metallic glint and dug deeper, unearthing the dog tags Olis Leroy Medcalf had lost while serving in northern France in 1945.

Masclif turned to the Internet and found the name of someone he thought might be a relative of the late Dale, Indiana, man. With the help of a translator, he wrote a letter to Newburgh resident Paul Medcalf, asking if he was Medcalf’s son.

After the pair traded information, he mailed off the dog tags.

“He told me his story and that he felt very moved - the Yanks are coming to come over and help free France and so he wanted to send them to me,” Medcalf told the Evansville Courier & Press (https://bit.ly/1dCTSJg ). “I think he felt very honored.”

Medcalf received the dog tags around his birthday in late March. They were grimy after 70 years in the dirt, but his wife cleaned them and they’re now shiny, appearing almost new.

Medcalf said he hopes to travel to Voves, France, sometime next year to meet Masclif and his family.

“(Masclif) is a special guy, with a real consideration of others and respect for the tags,” he said.

Medcalf said his father, who died in 1976, was like many veterans in that he never discussed his war experiences. Since receiving the dog tags, Medcalf has done some research and discovered how his father earned a Silver Star, which is awarded for gallantry in action.

His father was on patrol in northern France when he entered a chateau and discovered several Germans inside. Because Olis Medcalf was from Dale - a Spencer County town where many residents have German heritage - he knew a little German, and he used that knowledge to help him capture 15 Germans “without firing a shot,” his son said.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, https://www.courierpress.com

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