Monday, December 3, 2012

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The two photos at the top of the page are West Point cadet Chester deGavre wearing his formal military jacket in his 1933 West Point yearbook photo, and that same jacket as it appears today. The lower photo shows the jacket being presented last week to deGavre's 98-year-old widow, Teresa deGavre, after the jacket had been found washed up on the Jersey Shore in the wake of hurricane Sandy.

The jacket was found by Donna Gugger (the blond woman in the lower photo), who discovered it while cleaning up debris near her home after the storm. She initially thought it was a costume jacket, but some of the interior tagging indicated that it was a genuine military jacket. With some research assistance from the folks at West Point, she was able to determine that it had been issued to Chester deGavre, who died in 1993. Some additional research led her to deGavre's widow.

That's some impressive sleuthing, although one serious mystery remains: Teresa deGavre had been completely unaware of the jacket's existence. It's not clear how it became separate from her husband, who may have owned it in the interim, or how it ended up in the ocean. In any case, it's now back where it belongs.

You can read more about this here and here, and there's a video report here:

Cadet jacket found in Sandy aftermath

(Special thanks to Sue Kendall for bringing this story to my attention.)

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