Butch Maisel H'09, Founder and Curator of BL's Center for Military History, recently helped create a special day for a family of a missing army private from 1942, who was killed in action fighting for his country.
Family members of Pvt. Charles E. Cook received his dog tags at a special event honoring prisoners of war and military members missing in action. On May 3rd, 1942, the island of Corregidor in the Pacific Ocean was hit with Japanese aerial and artillery bombardment. Cook was presumed dead and his body was never found.
But recently, Butch obtained military artifacts from Bill Kirwan '57 and in the bundle of artifacts, there were ten dog tags - and one of them belonged to Private Cook.
Butch said he wanted to get the dog tags back to members of the families and he reached out to the New Bern, North Carolina VFW community post and several days later was able to locate the family members of Cook. Butch said, "I know how much it means. Holding that dog tag, and that’s the person right there in that dog tag. I knew it had to go back to the family.” Butch hopes to find all of the families of the other nine lost soldiers.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2514 worked with Mr. Maisel to return the tags to the family and in an email wrote the following. "VFW Post 2514 would like to extend thanks to you, your son, and the Boys Latin School of Maryland for donating a most valued item from your Corregidor Collection, the World War II Dog Tag of Pvt. Charles E Cook of the 60th Coast Artillery - found on the battlefield of Corregidor. We are most helpful that this first donation of one of the Dog Tags in your Corregidor collection will also touch other communities the way this donation has touched this community of New Bern."
To view the news story, go to https://www.witn.com/2021/