FHP trooper finds owner of missing Marine Corps memorabilia

Trooper Peter Kilgore found dog tags, photos at a thrift store

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper and veteran found a box of Marine Corps memorabilia while thrift shopping and tracked down the owner, whose son died in the Beirut bombings more than 35 years ago. 

FHP Trooper Peter Kilgore said he was furniture shopping with his wife in June when they happened to stop at the Teen Challenge Super Thrift store in Longwood.

"We weren't looking for anything in particular," Kilgore said.

He said they were drawn to a china cabinet. But they found more than just plates and flatware inside.

"We found a box and it drew our attention," he said.

The box was filled with Marine Corps memorabilia, including dog tags, photos and items referencing the 1983 Beirut bombings.

"Being a Marine, I know we cherish things and the minute I opened up the box, I knew this was something special. It meant something to somebody," Kilgore said. 

The only clue Kilgore had was the name Lance Cpl. Dwayne Wigglesworth. 

"I knew I had a duty to find the family," he said. 

Kilgore enlisted the help of the National Museum of the Marine Corps to find the box's owner. He tracked down Wigglesworth's father, Henry Wigglesworth, who lives in Casselberry.

Henry Wigglesworth's son, Dwayne, was killed during the bombings in Lebanon more than 35 years ago.

Kilgore, a Marine Corps corporal, returned the cherished items to Henry, who also served in the Marines. 

"He was ecstatic. His wife was ecstatic. They were glad it was found and returned," Kilgore said.

Kilgore said the Wigglesworths are now family. He said Henry Wigglesworth gave him a Marine Corps ring with Dwayne's name engraved on the band.

The trooper said he doesn't know why the box was left in the china cabinet, but he believes he was meant to find it. 

"I know those items definitely mean a lot to him and his family," Kilgore said.


About the Author:

Amanda Castro

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!

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