Charleville resident reunites war relic with relatives
A CHANCE meeting led to a family being reunited with an ancestral war relic, just in time for Anzac Day commemorations.
Charleville World War II guide James Brown was at the head of the mission, after receiving the WWII dog tag from a traveller passing through town.
“I happened to have a gentleman attend one of my tours and, when I was walking home, he pulled up beside me and offered me a lift,” Mr Brown said.
“We got talking and I realised that he had a metal detector, which is something I do too.
“He then turned to me and said, ‘Well actually I have some WWII stuff right here in my car that I can give you if you want it’. And I said ‘yeah, that would be awesome’.”
Among the findings was a WWII dog tag, also called an identity disc, that belonged to Sergeant Frank Stegmann – found in Tasmania.
Frank Stegmann was a captain based in the military hospital in Tasmania during the war.
Mr Brown conducted a six-month search to find the next of kin.
“I was unsure if I would find them.
“I got in touch with a man named Michael Musumeci, who I contacted over Facebook.
“Michael is very involved in aviation and history, and had an input into the design of the B-17 billboard at the Charleville airport, so he was a great place to start.
“And, as luck would have it, he managed to put me in touch with Frank’s son, Peter, and I was able to organise the disc’s return.
“Peter said the family had nothing from his father’s time in the war.
“He gave me his Tasmanian address, and I framed and sent him the disc this week.”
The Murweh Anzac Day ceremony and dawn services, including event photos, will feature in the next edition of the Western Times.
RELIC: Frank Stegmann’s framed dog tag.