The family of Edward J. Dodds, a deceased WWII veteran from New Jersey, was reunited with the veteran’s 1938 class ring 73 years after it was lost. Richard Dodds, the son of Edward, claims his father lost the ring while serving in the South Pacific During WWII. The ring was unearthed in a farmer’s field in Papua New Guinea in 2013 by Liam Ngahan. Ngahan wore the ring for several years before deciding it was time to reunite the family heirloom with its rightful owners.
The ring was returned to the Dodds family during a ceremony at Audubon High School. A crowd of more than 50 people gathered to witness the special moment.
“There’s not really one emotion that describes this,” said Richard Dodds. “I think it’s great for the grand kids and some great-grandkids to be connected to the past and the generation before this.”
John Hocknull is the man responsible for making this all happen. Ngahan showed Hocknull the ring sometime last year and Hocknull immediately realized the ring belonged to an American Solider. After days of research, Hocknull determined the ring belonged to Camden County School, the school where Dodds graduated before entering the service.
The ring was eventually returned by Hocknull’s niece who happened to live several miles from the Dodds family in Woodbury, NJ.
“I was delighted to be a part of this,” Hocknull told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It brought the Dodds family back together in a practical way, and I think brought a lot of pleasure to people.