An elderly Queensland widow will be reunited with her husband’s war medals after detectives found them hanging in a Melbourne home.

Precious WWII Australian war service medals missing for years will be returned to an elderly Queensland widow, after eagle-eyed police spotted the memorabilia hanging in a Melbourne home.

Victorian detectives searching a home in Melbourne’s south-east last week saw the medals displayed on a wall.

The medals belonged to the late flight rigger Robert Headlam, who served in WWII, but they had been missing since his wife’s nephew died several years ago.

The resident of the Frankston North home told police he got the memorabilia from a deceased estate.

“We made an agreement with the man that if a surviving relative or friend could be found, then the man would hand over the frame containing the medals,” Detective Senior Constable Paul Roberts said.

“We made some calls and discovered that the wife of the deceased rigger was living in Queensland.”

The memorabilia includes an Australia Service Medal, Pacific Star, War Medal and the 1939-1945 Star as well as three other medals belonging to Roberts’ father Guy.

Identification tags, a Royal Australian Air Force Statement of Service and Discharge, an original Defence Force envelope and a photograph were also found.

Police said the 91-year-old widow was thrilled the medals had been returned.