Family of Sussex County Veteran Returns Dog Tag After More Than - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Family of Sussex County Veteran Returns Dog Tag After More Than 70 Years

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Ninety-six-year-old William Askew holds up the dog tag he's held for 73 years. (Photo: WBOC) Ninety-six-year-old William Askew holds up the dog tag he's held for 73 years. (Photo: WBOC)

LEWES, Del.- Ninety-six-year-old World War II veteran William Askew of Lewes has had a dog tag sitting in his room for more than 70 years. But this dog tag does not have his name on it. Instead it reads: C.C McCrackin, USS Yorktown. 

The origin of this dog tag dates back to a mission in 1942, when he entered that ship on a rescue mission. 

“I had to crawl on the ship,” he said. “And then we went down I don’t know how many decks, until we hit the water.” 

It was on that mission, as the ship sank deeper and deeper, that he found the dog tag on the ground. He kept it, unaware of who McCrackin was, assuming that he had died on that ship. 

“I’ve seen that (dog tag) so many times,” he said. “It’s like a part of me.”

Now after more than 70 years, Askew is learning more about the man behind the name. Askew’s family looked on the internet and found the contact information for Windell and Johann McCrackin. Windell was the brother of CC. 

After talking on the phone, Askew’s family found out that C.C. had in fact survived the war, and lived for another 70 years, before dying in 2011. Askew’s son James said that later this month, the family will be traveling to South Carolina to deliver the tags.

“It’s bringing closure to my father,” said James. “For something that he’s had - wondering about for 73 years. And it’s bringing something lost and not even known of back to another family.” 

WBOC spoke with Johann McCrackin on the phone on Tuesday, who said that it would be a great honor to receive the dog tag after all these years. 

“It was mind-boggling,” she said. We are very excited to get it back. It’s a bright spot.” 

The family plans to deliver the dog tags on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

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