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NJ Family To Be Reunited With WWII Dog Tags Found In The Thames River

NEWARK, N.J.(CBSNewYork) -- It was social media at its best, connecting a piece of World War II memorabilia dug up in London with the family that it belongs to in New Jersey.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reported, the family relic washed ashore a world away.

Frank Lamotta's late father was a World War II veteran who left something behind while serving abroad, his dog tags. Now, 70 years later they have been found.

"My father was a prankster. What he was doing in the Thames River, god only know. Who knows," Lamotta said.

The tags were found in the London river by Jason Davey, a members of the Society of the Thames Mudlarks who search the river at low tide for artifacts.

"I just looked at the dog tag, and I thought, 'I've got to put it on Facebook because I'm sure it could get some help with it,'" Davey said.

Davey posted a picture of the tags on social media in search of Lamotta's family whose son saw it and alerted his parents.

"He woke me up and I was like, 'wow, I was floored. If my brother was here we would have had a ball with this,'" Lamotta said.

"I went up in my closet and found ID numbers corresponded, really excited it was his," Susan Lamotta said.

Davey was just as thrilled.

"It was amazing, I have to say, I was very pleased. And yes I have spoken to them, just recently actually, in the last 10 minutes or so, just to confirm the address of where to send it in America, in New Jersey," he said.

Still visible on the tag is 'next of kin' listing an address on Houston Street in Newark where the family ran a barber shop and lived upstairs.

"The Lamotta Family history in Newark started in the 1930's. They also ran Krug's Tavern on Wilson Ave.

"My father worked bar full time, but when he got done with war cut my hair at my grandfather's barber shop then married my mother," Lamotta said.

The tags should arrive in New Jersey in just a few days.

"Probably going to frame them, you know out in the tavern," Lamotta said.

The Lamottas hope to host Davey at Krug's Tavern to share a burger and a beer in honor of Frank Casper Lamotta.

Lamotta was a corporal in the 823rd Air Engineering Squadron of the Army Air Corps. He passed away in 1980.



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