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the Breeze

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Coochiemudlo Island homeowner Steve Went thought he would do a little metal detecting on a local beach when he found something rather unusual.

“I had an hour or so before my barge so I thought I would search Morwong Beach and see what I could find. 

“Normally it will be a bunch of discarded hooks, lead sinkers or other rubbish; not too exciting, but it helps clean up the beaches.”

Using his metal detector he home built from a kit, Steve soon detected a strong signal that appeared to be quite deep. 

Digging close to half a metre down in the sand, he discovered a set of dog tags, as used to identify Defence Force Personnel.

The tags had the persons service number, name, religion and blood type, and had the prefix AS, meaning they were from the Australian Defence Force.

Steve tried searching Defence Force records for the service number and the name M R ALLEN, but found nothing. 

So he thought he would try his luck on a straight out google search and discovered a news release from Australian Government Defence in 2023 about a former Army aviation soldier named MYRON ALLEN. He had been medically discharged from the army and had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. 

The article explained how the Army had arranged a surprise and emotional landing of a Chinook helicopter on the oval at his children’s school. 

It also mentioned that he had gifted his son his dog tags and that he lived in Brisbane. Could this be the owner?

A quick search on Facebook found Myron , so Steve sent a message asking him if he had lost a set of dog tags at the beach.

“YES” was the reply, “yes they are mine, how did you figure that out?”

Myron (known as Moyle) Moyle explained: “I spent the day with the family at the beach and my son was digging holes in the sand. 

“They must have slipped off his neck and got buried. 

“We were quite upset when we discovered they were missing.”

Finally last month Steve met up with Moyle and he was ‘reunited’ with the slightly corroded but otherwise intact dog tags.

“I could have got a replacement set, but these are so much more special and sentimental to my son and I, being the set I was issued with when in the Army.”

Steve is also elated that he could find the owner, especially something that has so much meaning to the family. 

“It was an interesting find and fun to do a little detective work and end up with the perfect result.”

• Steve Went and his trusty metal detector.



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