U.S. Navy sword returned to owner’s daughter 70 years after his death

Frances Wentz Taber said she’s heard of people returning wedding…

Frances Wentz Taber said she’s heard of people returning wedding rings many years after they were lost. But the Tallahassee resident said she never heard of anyone returning a sword.

Until two weeks ago, when a businessman from Grand Cayman mailed her the military sword that belonged to her father, U.S. Navy Lt. Ned James Wentz — who died at sea 70 years ago.

The sword was salvaged in 1942 from the wreckage of her father’s ship, the USS Erie, shortly after the ship was sunk by a German submarine near Venezuela during World War II. The salvage diver who found the sword, and later his son, spent decades trying to find Wentz’ survivors — before succeeding April 8 when the sword arrived at Taber’s Tallahassee home.

“I had chill bumps,” Taber said. “It was as if my father said, ‘I want to give you one more thing of mine.’ ”

Read more at Tallahassee.com

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