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Wallet returned to retired Navy lieutenant 53 years after it was lost in Antarctica

A retired Navy lieutenant now living in San Diego was reunited with his wallet more than five decades after he lost it in Antarctica. It found its way home, thanks in part, to amateur internet sleuths from across the country.

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A retired Navy lieutenant now living in San Diego was reunited with his wallet more than five decades after he lost it in Antarctica. It found its way home, thanks in part, to amateur internet sleuths from New Hampshire.

Retired Navy Lt. Paul Grisham, 91, had his long-lost wallet delivered 53 years after he lost it while stationed in Antarctica.

“I was dumbfounded, literally, it blew me away because of all the things that are in my wallet,” Grisham said.

The story began in the 1960s when Operation Deep Freeze sent him to McMurdo Station as a naval weather forecaster.

“You guys in New Hampshire think it’s cold, the temperatures in the Antarctic are 50 to 75 degrees colder than they are in the North Pole,” Grisham said.

When the station was demolished in 2014, a wallet was found behind a locker. Some Granite Staters contacted a group dedicated to veterans.

Grisham said there was not much money in the Billford, but everything else is priceless. Old identification cards, a recipe for homemade Kahlua and beer ration cards were still in the wallet.

“I was allowed 25 beers, I only punched out four because I have a proclivity for martinis,” Grisham said.

“They are treasures, they really are,” Grisham said. “Like I say, I had forgotten not all of it, but it brought back memories.”