Kentucky high school students find World War II soldier’s dog tags while cleaning park

Kentucky high school students find World War II soldier’s dog tags while cleaning park
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A routine cleanup in a Woodford County park turned into a great find for two Woodford County high school students.

On September 16, Woodford County High School juniors Hattie Steen and Meaghan Burke were cleaning up the Huntertown Interpretive Park.

The site is home to a former Woodford County African American hamlet.

It was their first day on the job, and it didn’t take long to discover something fascinating: dog tags that belonged to World War II veteran Fred D. Jackson.

“I was surprised to just to find it just sitting there on the surface level,” Hattie Steen said. “And it wasn’t rusty. It was just a little dirty, but that was about it.”

The dog tag was found in the back of Jackson’s former home.

The ladies handed their find over to Sioux Finney, a board member at Huntertown Interpretive Park.

“handed it to her (Finney), and they were so excited because they knew the person,” Steen said.

“I walked over there, and I looked at the dog tag, and I saw it said Fred D. Jackson, and I said, ‘Girls, I’m about to faint,’” Finney said.

Jackson was not only a World War II veteran; he was also a pilot, the first African American constable in the state and a civil rights leader.

Jackson’s sister, Geraldine Berry, praised the two high schoolers for their discovery.

“I can’t describe how I feel about them. They’re amazing,” said Berry. “It’s good that they recognize that it was something important and showed it to Sioux.”

The two ladies plan to return to the site and clean.

“I don’t know if we can top that, but I would like to try,” said Meaghan Burke.

Jackson died in 2007.

the City of Lexington has designated November 19 Fred Jackson Day in honor of the state’s first African American constable.