Press Releases

State Treasurer Riley Moore and his Office’s Unclaimed Property Division on Thursday, July 14, hosted a special, first-of-its-kind ceremony to return lost or abandoned military medals and memorabilia to 13 veteran families.

“These medals and memorabilia represent the bravery and sacrifice of these 13 remarkable veterans, along with the families that support them, and I believe they should be handled with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Treasurer Moore said.

The items had been turned over to the State Treasurer’s Office’s Unclaimed Property Division after being determined to be abandoned in safe deposit boxes. The Office frequently receives safe deposit box contents as unclaimed property after the owner or their spouse pass away and surviving family members are unaware their relative stored items in one.

Thanks to recent changes in the state’s Unclaimed Property Act, which Treasurer Moore requested earlier this year, the Treasurer’s Office is now able to directly return these items to families, cutting down on paperwork requirements to claim the items.

Joining Treasurer Moore to honor the veterans and their families were U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador of West Virginia Johnnie D. Ross and the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, Major General William E. Crane. Colors were posted by the Civil Air Patrol’s Charleston Composite Squadron.

Twelve of the 13 veterans honored Thursday have already passed away and the items were returned to surviving family members. The State Treasurer’s Office packaged their medals and memorabilia in special commemorative display boxes.

“I hope that the families will display these in a really high place of honor, because they deserve to be displayed that way,” Major General Crane said.

The veterans honored Thursday included:

Henry W. Baldwin
1917 - 1991
U.S. Army, World War II

Henry C. Gaver
1921 – 1944
U.S. Navy Reserve
World War II
Killed in Action in the Philippines

Luster L. Harrison
1907 - 1960
U.S. Army
World War II
1328th Army Air Forces Base Unit

George K. Harshbarger
1915 - 2001
U.S. Marine Corps – WWII & Korea 
U.S. Army Reserve 

Vincent J. Herbst
1911 – 1993
U.S. Navy Reserve
World War II
Battle of Guadalcanal

James H. McCoy, Jr.
1920 – 1945
U.S. Navy Reserve
World War II
Died in France from wounds
received in action in Germany

Elmer C. Michael
1923 - 1960
U.S. Army
World War II

William Russell Nickell, Jr.
1922 – 1984
U.S. Navy
World War II
South Pacific

O. Othor Older, Jr.
1913 – 1975
U.S. Army Adjutant General’s Corps
World War II

Phillip Sisser
1908 – 1991
U.S. Army
World War II
China-Burma-India Theater

Dwain A. Sloane
1946 - 2011
U.S. Navy, Vietnam
U.S. Army Special Forces
19th Special Forces Group

Thomas D. Stalnaker
U.S. Army Reserve

Guy Ellis Wade
1922 - 1996
U.S. Army
World War II


Video of the ceremony can be viewed on the Treasurer’s Office’s Facebook page:

Background on Legislative Improvements to the Unclaimed Property Act:

House Bill 4511, passed during the 2022 Regular Session, made several updates to streamline and modernize the West Virginia Unclaimed Property Act. One update improved the process for claiming abandoned safe deposit box contents that have been turned over to the state.

Under the previous law, when property was left in a safe deposit box, the owner had to go to the bank and settle their fees and obtain a notarized verification to submit to the State Treasurer’s Office before the claim could be approved and property returned.

House Bill 4511 now allows the State Treasurer’s Office’s Unclaimed Property Division to directly return these contents to the owner or heirs and settle fees with the bank for them after the claim is complete, reducing the hassle and streamlining the process.

The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498
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