It's a metal scrapyards say isn't worth much, but for World War II sailors, the bronze stolen from their memorial in Wichita is priceless.
A group of veterans gathered at the memorial for WWII Submarine sailors at Wichita's Veterans Memorial Park. Although this isn't unusual, this particular meeting was. They were meeting to figure out how much it will cost to replace two bronze plaques stolen this week.
Robert Fugit, Commander of the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc., said he wants to know why someone would take the military plaques.
"It's a pretty sad state in my mind, when we have something that was dedicated to men who lost their lives defending our freedom, just to say 'I don't care, let me take that, it means nothing to me.' Really makes me wonder how much they respect anything," Fugit said.
Only two of the three plaques at the USS Dorado memorial were stolen. Fugit isn't sure why the third one was left.
"I looks like, when we looked at the marks on that one and the one by the torpedo, that they drove some kind of chisel underneath them and just popped them loose," said Fugit. "I'm almost surprised they didn't break the bronze. They didn't get one of them. Can't tell if they only wanted the two or someone came by and wanted to leave, we don't know."
The U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. are now working on how to replace the plaques. Fugit said they have funds within their group, but if that doesn't cover it they might ask for donations. He said they are planning to replace the plaques with granite ones in hope that a theft like this one won't happen again.
They will be replacing all three of the plaques and two of the concrete pedestals.
The memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives aboard the USS Dorado. The submarine was lost in 1945, all 77 aboard were killed.
If you see the the bronze plaques (pictured in this article) please contact Wichita Police. If you'd like to donate to the fund to replace them, contact Fugit at firstname.lastname@example.org.