I became involved in a strange and incredible chain of events that began with my Philadelphia induction into the Army in 1943, and ended 65 years later in Florida. At that time, my mother bought me a silver ID bracelet engraved with my name and army serial number. I wore it all through the first 18 months in the Army.
After we went onto the in the Ardennes, my unit, I Company 394th Inf., was transferred to the 393rd Regiment which was attacking the Roer Dams and we were placed in their service. Just before we got there, the Bulge was launched by the Germans and we were forced into a chaotic withdrawal along with everyone else.
Apparently, that was when I lost the bracelet, for that is where Jean-Louis Seel found it.
Since he was setting up displays to loan to museums, he got the OK to keep it temporarily. Sometime during the next 20 years, he lost possession of it, but managed to retrieve it after seven years.
I now have a grandson who is 10 years old and I wanted him to have it with its amazing saga, as a memento of me, being 83 years old. I also wanted it to stay in the family and have its story passed on to future generations.
I e-mailed my request to Jean-Louis and he graciously agreed. I can’t help speculating that if it had stayed in my possession for 68 years, I might have misplaced or otherwise lost possession. But, because it was in Belgium all those years, acquiring the glamour of the circumstances it now is an item of interest to my grandson and future family members.
Jim Larkey I/394
246 Crown Oaks Way
Longwood FL 32779