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Dog tags belonging to WWII veteran from NC found in Italy

Social media sleuths are working to solve a mystery and return World War II dog tags found in Tuscany, Italy, to their rightful owner in North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh residents and social media sleuths are working to solve a mystery and return World War II dog tags found in Tuscany, Italy, to their rightful owner in Raleigh – or to any surviving family.

It began when Luca Gattel, a metal detector from Italy, found military dog tags with the name Thomas L. Vaughn, Jr. The address on the tags links to an Evelyn Vaughn in the Cameron Court Apartments, which still stand in Raleigh today.

Gattel believes he has found Vaughn's wife: Colleen Cotten Vaughn, who died in 2004 according to an obituary printed in the News & Observer. She was 84 when she died. In 1949, she married a man named Thomas L. Vaughn, Jr., who was a WWII veteran and recipient of both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He died in 1953, just four years after they were married.

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