Decades-old bracelet found at Surf City - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Decades-old bracelet found at Surf City

SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - Hurricane Sandy may have helped one man uncover a precious piece of history. James McCauley was out with his metal detector, when he found something unusual. 

"You never know what you are going to find," said McCauley. "There is a little bit of anticipation there sometimes." He's been sifting through the sand for three years, finding bottle caps, jewelry and lots of coins. However, recently he found something with a special tie to history.

"My first thought was that it was just a piece of garbage," said McCauley. After taking the bracelet home and cleaning it up, he was able to read a name on the back, "James David Shoaf." There was also a military number, and a message, "With Love Eve".

McCauley, who enjoys history and genealogy, did some research and found out Shoaf fought in WWII. Studying Voter Registration Archives, he was able to find out the man was married to woman named Evelyn.  He also learned Shoaf died in 1966.

"I wouldn't say eerie, but I'm a little in awe that I'm holding something that was worn by people 40 50 years ago," said McCauley. Now, he's in the process of tracking down the Shoaf's family so he can return the bracelet.

"I know that if you come across something that old, more than likely a person would like to have it so I figured I would give it a shot," said McCauley. He managed to track down a great nice and has been e-mailing with her to see if he can find any other living relatives.

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