- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) - A man using a metal detector found a prisoner-of-war bracelet for an Air Force captain and he’d like to give it to the serviceman’s family.

The Daily Corinthian reports (https://bit.ly/2aqFHba ) that Bobby McDaniel found the POW bracelet last weekend about six inches underground while hunting in a yard east of Corinth.

McDaniel is a veteran. He hopes to give the more than 40-year-old bracelet to a family member or friend of Capt. Dennis Wilkinson. Wilkinson was from West Palm Beach, Florida, and was reported missing on March 5, 1972. That date is inscribed under his name on the bracelet.

A California student group created such commemorative bracelets in the 1970s. Buyers said they’d wear them until the service member or his remains returned to the United States.

Wilkinson was part of a 1972 offensive meant to keep weapons of war out of North Vietnam, according to the POW Network.

On the first day of the strike, the force encountered heavy concentrations of anti-aircraft fire and 16 MiGs were seen.

Three MiGs were downed, but the F4E flown by Wilkinson and Capt. Jeffrey L. Harris exploded and crashed. The Air Force believed there was reason to believe both escaped the crippled plane and declared them missing in action.

“It’s a pretty amazing story,” McDaniel said.

Neither Wilkinson nor Harris was among 591 Americans released from a Hanoi prison in 1973.

Wilkinson’s remains were returned in 1978 when U.S. Rep. Gillespie “Sonny” Montgomery of Mississippi led a delegation to Hanoi to determine whether any American POWs remained in Vietnam.

“My hope is a family member sees this,” said McDaniel. “I want someone close to him to have it.”

The newspaper reports that anyone with information about a Wilkinson family member can contact McDaniel at 662-415-6475.


Information from: The Daily Corinthian.

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