DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH) – A priceless family heirloom, uncovered after a Delaware County family moved their elderly mother into assisted living.
They made the discovery while cleaning out the home she had lived in for decades.
“I’d been given most of Gerald’s stuff when I was 12 years old,” said William Hamilton, great-nephew of World War II veteran Gerald Hamilton.
Gerald Hamilton was an Army flight officer and was awarded the Army Air Medal for his part in Operation Market Garden and then The Battle of the Bulge.
On March 24, 1945, Lt. Hamilton was shot down and later killed in action near Viesel, Germany.
“He was temporarily buried around there somewhere and then, in 1949, his body was moved to the military cemetery in Holland,” said William Hamilton.
Brodie Miller with Two Men and a Truck moving company was hired to clean out the Hamilton house, when he found a box tucked away.
“It was tucked away and it was up top on a shelf, like I couldn’t really see, it was just putting my hands up top and I found this box,” Miller said.
When Miller was able to see the box, postmarked 1949, it looked all too familiar.
“Once I brought the box down and looked at it, I was like, ‘Alright, this isn’t something I’m going to throw away right now,’” he said.
Inside the box was a folded flag.
“That was the flag that was on the coffin when his body was transported to the permanent military cemetery,” said William Hamilton.
That flag in the box looked familiar to Miller because he was given the same type of flag when his father, Arthur William Joseph Miller III, known as “Spud” Miller, a Navy Vietnam veteran, died when Brodie was a child.
“Extremely rewarding feeling to be able to bring it to his attention,” Miller said.
“Brodie was the right person at the right place at the right time because so many people would not have recognized that little brown box having anything important in it,” added William Hamilton.
The Hamilton family said it will make sure to keep this flag and Gerald Hamilton’s story for future generations.