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Walt's Daughter

Santa Rosa woman helps honor bomber crew 70 years later

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A life-altering journey for Santa Rosa artist - read the entire article


It's a small, cheap, distorted piece of stamped metal. But how it and the odyssey triggered by its discovery have altered Holly Mead's life.

The Santa Rosa artist is back home from the trip of a lifetime to the Tuscany region of northern Italy, where she was a VIP at the dedication of a grateful town's new World War II memorial monument.

Mead, 35, brought back with her the little metal plate that she and her mother will treasure for the rest of their lives.

It's the Army-issued dog tag that Mead's grandfather, a young bomber pilot named Benton "Benny" Eichorn, wore when he died in the downing of a B-25 one day after D-Day in 1944. The dog tag apparently lay for 70 years precisely right where it fell, in woods near the town of Vernio.

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