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Michigan man wants World War II knife belonging to grandfather returned after accidentally sold for $20 at yard sale

Posted at 6:56 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 06:56:27-05

PINCKNEY, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Pinckney man needs your help getting his grandfather's World War II knife back after it was accidentally sold at a moving sale.

Brian Bethke says the knife is all he has from his grandfather. He says he just wants to get it back and is willing to pay for it.

“That knife means more to me than money,” Brian said.

He said he's heartbroken after his grandfather's World War II knife was accidentally sold in a moving sale on March 4 for $20.

“I had all the stuff that I didn’t want sold over on one side and I just got so busy and I forgot to take it home and put it in a safe place and it kinda got mixed in with the sale,” Brian said.

He said he was cleaning out his father's house after he died last summer. Brian says his grandfather, Duane Elroy Bethke, was a bombardier in World War II. Brian says his grandfather was the lead bombardier of 1,000 planes. His grandfather's wife, Audrey, also served. She was a nurse for the Red Cross during World War II.

Brian's grandfather passed away in 2014 and Audrey passed away in 2019. Brian says his grandfather went on all sorts of missions but one in particular stood out.

“His mission was to seek out Adolf Hitler and bomb him, and the problem was it was a little too overcast and my grandpa had to call it off and call the whole fleet of,” Brian said.

The knife is special to the Pinckney man. It’s all he has to remember his grandfather – a keepsake of a man who bravely served his country.

“That’s something that I wanted to pass on to my kids and I wanted to keep that in the family," Brian said. "Even if I don’t get the knife back at least I know that we tried and maybe my grandpa's story will get out there a little bit."