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Officials Trying To Find Graves

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Veteran Services Office in St. Johns County, Fla., is trying to unravel a mystery involving tombstones of seven veterans that were discovered being used as a walkway.

Joseph McDermott, the chief veterans services officer, is trying to locate anyone who might know where the headstones came from. They were found outside an abandoned mobile home two years ago.

He would like to return them to the graves of the men.

Five of the granite stones are from World War II veterans, one is for a serviceman from the Korean War and one is undetermined.

McDermott said attempts to locate the families or anyone who knows about the headstones have been unsuccessful. He has contacted local funeral homes and veterans officals in Washington.

A former Jackonsville police officer called him and suggested the fact that tombstones with typos or incorrect information were left sitting outside.

The following information appears on the headstones:

  • Allen J. Brown, Army private, World War II, 1922-1993
  • Steve Btewton (may be a typo), Army private, World War II, 3-19-1971 - 4-14-1984
  • Clarence Dixon, Army corporal, World War II, 9-11-1912 - 2-11-1984
  • Thomas Edison Hadley Jr., Army rank unknown, World War II, 10-7-1922 - 12-30-1980
  • Isaac Samford Howell, private first class, branch unknown, World War II, 1907-1994
  • J.C. Purifoy, Army corporal, Korea, 1930-1993
  • James Singletary, Army rank and war unknown, 1878-1981

Anyone with information on the headstones is asked to call McDermott at (904) 823-2463.
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