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A.E.F. Identification, Part one


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#51 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:14 PM

Photo no. 46: This photo compares the early 1916 type ID Tag issued by the Marine Corps and the later 1917 type ID Tag that was sometimes issued to Marines through Army supply channels. Note that the later tag has the Marine’s rank and unit designation and the difference between the U.S.M.C. tag’s machined initials and the Army issued hand stamped initials.(Courtesy of forum member teufelhund)

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#52 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:15 PM

Photo no. 47: At first glance the history of this Marine ID Tag seems confusing but upon closer inspection it reveals that it was originally stamped per the August 1917 regulations and contained the Marine’s name, rank and the initials “U.S.M.C.” on the front and the low serial number of 272,005, his date of enlistment and his unit designation, that of the 2nd Replacement Battalion on the reverse. Ultimately he was assigned to the 134th Company and he field modified the tag by scratching out his previous outfit and stamped his new (134th Company) outfit above the serial number. The second hole punched through at the top of the tag was most likely used to suspend the secondary tag. The numerals “66-5” crudely marked on the front of the tag remain a mystery. If any forum member can identify the meaning of the number 66-5 please make a post. (Courtesy of forum member teufelhund)

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#53 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:16 PM

Photo no. 48: This chart shows the chronology and dates that the U.S.M.C. ID Tags were changed, with all significant changes highlighted in red.

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#54 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:23 PM

“Every soldier has two identification tags—one to be buried with him and the other one used for an identification mark…”


The Identity Tag and burial of America’s war dead



Photo no. 49: After every major engagement the Graves Registration Service of the Quartermaster Corps insured that all of the A.E.F. war dead were recovered, identified and buried in neat rows, with their resting place marked by a marked wooden cross until the war ended at which time they would be exhumed for reburial or shipped home to their family.

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#55 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:30 PM

“A little improvised cross …”


Makeshift field graves



The primary purpose of the ID Tag was to positively identify the remains of a soldier in the event that he was killed or wounded in action. Regulations required that the primary tag (the one suspended from the neck tape) was to always remain around the neck of the body, until it was buried. The supplementary disc was the one that was removed and forwarded to division HQ where an “Immediate report of death” form was filled out and sent on to the Quartermaster Department thus, beginning the long road that led to the notification of the victim’s next of kin. Platoon and Company commanders as well as Chaplains were made responsible for collecting the tags of their men killed in battle. A 1st Division private, who reported to the captain in charge, the death of five company men who were killed by a single shell, recorded the result’s of the detail that the captain sent to collect their tags and personal effects,

“A runner was sent back to where the men had been blown to pieces. He was to get any personal effects, and I.D. tags. He came back with a few letters a few tags and a watch.”

The officers and Chaplains also performed the sad task of informing the dead men’s families of their death and provided them with a few additional details about the circumstances of their demise. These letters written by a Chaplain attached to the 1st Division and a captain with the 56th Infantry Regiment are typical of the thousands of similar letters written and sent during 1917 and 1918,

“Dear Sir, January 1919

Your son, Walter G. Shaw, was killed by a shell on October 2, 1918. The 18th Infantry was holding the line at a town called Charpentry in the Argonne. All day and night the shells were falling on our position. One of the shells killed your boy. He is buried at Charpentry.

May God reward and comfort you for having given a son to the service, who gave his life for freedom and justice and the peace we will soon enjoy.

Chaplain King, 18th Infantry, 1st Division”


Dear Sir, Dec, 4, 1918

Your son Lorenzo Lipscomb, who was a member of company M, 56th infantry. Which I commanded was killed in action on November 10th, 1918.

There is little I can say or do that will lesson your sorrow, but I thought that you would like to know that your son died bravely doing his duty, a true American soldier. Your son was always an excellent soldier and enjoyed at all times the friendship and respect of all members of his company. With the great courage and devotion to duty that characterized his daily life in the army, he has made the supreme sacrifice that enables us who are more fortunate to enjoy the peace that has come to us now.

We share in the loss of our comrade and brother in arms the grief you feel in the loss of your son. Accept our deepest sympathy in your bereavement.

Sincerely,

Francis A, Woolfley
cpt. 56th inf.



Once the secondary tag was collected the primary tag was left around the neck of the deceased, it was to stay with the body at all times and was not to be removed except when the remains were temporarily interred. Many of the soldiers who were killed on the battlefield or died in route to a battalion aid station were hastily buried in a shell hole or shallow grave by litter bearers, Navy corpsmen, Army medics and combat troops. The location of the temporary field graves all had to be noted and marked with the dog tag taken from around the neck of the deceased for later identification. A Marine sniper who was detailed as a stretcher bearer, carrying a wounded comrade for first aid explained in his field diary, how this was done,

“Hamilton died before we reached the dressing station. Not wishing to leave him on the field, we buried him in a shell hole, putting up a little improvised cross and fastening one of his I.D. tags to the cross.”

Photo no. 50: Hastily erected crosses or a rifle shoved into the ground, bayonet first with a single dog tag attached usually marked the temporary resting spot of the soldier’s that were killed in action.

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#56 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:31 PM

The single field graves that were scattered across the lines of advance were hard to ignore and a passing artilleryman with the 85th Division, moving the French seventy five’s forward, couldn’t help but notice the numerous graves, all marked with a single ID Tag that dotted the route his battery traveled,

“We passed many graves where our boys were buried. A simple wooden cross with one identification tag nailed to it at the head and his rusty bayonet sticking up at the feet.”

Shortly after the fighting ceased, Graves Registration and burial details often assisted by combat soldiers closely followed the advancing infantry collecting personal effects as well as ID Tags for identification purposes and promptly buried the dead in carefully marked temporary graves. After every engagement makeshift burial plots covered the lines of advance, each one crudely marked by a rough improvised cross, hopefully, with a dog tag attached. These shallow, hastily dug field graves became a very real reminder of the possible fate of reserve and replacement troops moving up to the shifting front lines, a fact that did not go unnoticed by a rookie replacement on his way to join the 28th Infantry, 1st Division. For the first time he saw with his own eyes the harsh reality of the war,

“We realized now for the first time the truth, when we saw the dead comrades, or what remained of them, being carried in ponchos or blankets to the rear areas for such burial as a small group of soldiers can give them in the nearest shell hole. The dog tags removed from around their necks and tied to the rifles and stuck bayonet first into the ground to mark the spot. Then, if he was lucky, much later when the war had passed this area by a burial party will come along, dig up the remains in the poncho or blanket and re-bury it in a Government plot of ground.”

Photo no. 51: It was the policy of the A.E.F. to bury the dead as quickly as possible to avoid lowering the morale of reserve and replacement troops as they were brought forward. Green troops entering the battle lines were often shaken at the sight of long rows of bodies that were awaiting burial.

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#57 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:34 PM

“The meanest and saddest detail…”



Policing up the dead



Prior to WW I the Army had no official method for the handling of war dead and in August of 1917 the Quartermaster Corps was charged with organizing a Graves Registration service for the purpose of identification and the reverent handling of the dead, marking graves and recording the burials and to establish and care for cemeteries of American soldiers killed in action. During active operations the burial of the dead was of the utmost importance to GHQ, not only because of the effect the bodies of dead American soldiers had on the combat troops morale but also because if they were left to lie on the battlefield for days, they soon decomposed and became a sanitary matter of the greatest importance. According to the chief surgeon of the 1st Army Corps,

“After their death they soon decomposed and formed most unsightly and unsanitary objects. The stench was terrific but the worst feature was that of fly breeding. The bodies of both horses and men soon became a mass of maggots and flies bread by the millions—the surrounding country was infested with them.”

High command adopted the policy that burials should be accomplished as promptly as possible and one company of pioneer infantry was placed under the control of the division sanitation officer to follow up the advancing combat troops as closely as possible to bury the dead as they found them. It was further determined that combat troops should not be called upon for this work if possible because:

1. Fighting troops could not always be removed from the line for the purpose of burying the dead.
2. After an engagement the line troops were exhausted and should not be used to perform manual labor.
3. The effect on the morale of the combat troops who were compelled to bury their own dead was very bad.
4. If left to the combat troops, each division would have its own method or no method at all and the results were bound to be unsatisfactory.

Proper procedures were put in place and each organization was charged with burying its own dead and a burial officer was appointed by each commanding officer, which in most cases fell to the division Chaplain. The burial process began by collecting the bodies of men into groups whenever possible to be buried together in selected spots and animals were buried wherever it was convenient. It was stressed that the entire battlefield should be carefully searched to insure that no dead would be overlooked and that burials in single graves or small isolated groups should be avoided where ever possible. With this in mind squads of men were sent out to search for the unburied and to exhume those who had been hastily buried in shallow graves. A private first class with the 102nd Engineers, 27th Division described this unenviable task,

“Two of our infantry regiments are on detail pulling the wounded and dead back. It is the meanest and saddest detail of all. First you just take them back a fair distance, then later put them in a wagon and bring them back where they will be buried for the time being. If you have burlap you wrap them up and if no burlap, just no burlap. Not only is this a sad detail but, also it ids dangerous. First because of disease and, then they could be attached to a booby trap. It is pretty hard to bury a soldier and to think that some hour not far away you might be the next victim. After burying the dead you make sure their identification tag is on. Every soldier has two identification tags—one to be buried with him and the other one used for an identification mark.”

Photo no. 52: After any engagement dead Doughboys littered the lines of advance and the first step in the burial process was gathering the bodies and bringing them to a central location to be processed and identified before being buried.

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#58 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:47 PM

“We gather everything…”


Collecting ID Tags and personal effects



Photo no. 53: Here a Chaplain carefully checks each fallen soldier for any belongings to forward them on to Division HQ and then to the Quartermaster Department who, in turn will send them home to the next of kin in the U.S.

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#59 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:48 PM

After the bodies had been brought to a central location they were arranged in rows and each one was carefully searched for identification and personal possessions, any serviceable equipment such as helmets, shoes, cartridge belts, etc. were removed and placed on a salvage pile to later be cleaned, repaired and reissued, then the bodies were wrapped in blankets, ponchos, shelter halves or whatever happened to be on hand. Many of the passing infantry men couldn’t help themselves and curiously wandered along the rows of fallen Doughboys. During a lull in the fighting for the Argonne forest a private first class in the “All American”, 82nd Division recalled the sight of the broken and mangled bodies,

“There was a clearing a short distance back of our position and a company of S.O.S. were carrying dead soldiers together and laying them in rows—one American, one German and one French. They had about 400 already; the American now was the longest. I went along the lines and looked at them and some had their heads off, some had arms or legs off and some were cut in two. Some were all torn to pieces and others I could see no wounds at all.”

Chaplains were required to be present at each burial, if possible and were also charged with properly recording the names of the dead and to insure that the graves were all carefully marked. After they were officially notified by the Army it was not unusual for the family of deceased soldiers to later contact the Chaplains for additional details regarding the death of their loved ones, or to inquire about the whereabouts of his burial and the status of their personal possessions. A Catholic Chaplain serving in the 128th Infantry Regiment remembered when he had to return to the aid station to assist with the burial of a mortally wounded soldier. In a letter written to the boy’s grieving mother, he gave the following details regarding the whereabouts of her son’s remains,

“Knowing that his condition was serious, I prepared him for death. I expected, however to learn someday that he had fully recovered. We carried him outside and snugly wrapped in a blanket. There were a number of men with him, some in even worse condition. I was called back into the station and returning to the road, found Frank had passed away. I buried him in a little cemetery plot of our own near the cave on what is known as Valpreig Farm, just west of Juvigny. One identification disc was buried with him and one nailed to the cross marking his grave.”

Another officer, a captain with the 32nd Division wrote the following, in reply to a letter written by the mother of a mortally wounded soldier, seeking the location of her sons body and noted that his field grave had been marked by one of his issued ID Tags,

“I have no positive information as to the place of burial but our casualties were heavy and in all probabilities his remains lie with many others close to the dressing station which is near Buiexy, France. All the graves are marked and bear their identification tag worn by all soldiers for that purpose.”

Photo no. 54: The regimental Chaplains were charged with handling all the details of the burial, such as collecting dog tags and personal items, as well as recording the location of the temporary burial plots and often followed up the official Army telegrams that notified the next of kin, with further information about the soldier’s death.

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#60 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:53 PM

During the collection of the dead and the burial process, if the ID Tag was found at any location other than around the neck of the deceased it was noted in the “Record of Personal Effects of Deceased Personnel” and placed in the effects bag along with all of the possessions taken from the body. If there was only one tag present on the body, a duplicate tag had to be made on the spot, to match the original and if the remains were unidentified, two tags marked “unidentified” were made and the bodies were searched for any other means of identification, such as letters, photographs, lockets etc. Every clue would be followed up, and if a failure to identify still resulted, all data was forwarded to the Graves Registration Service of the Quartermaster Department for further research.

The Chaplains who gathered the effects of the dead soldiers were required to make a detailed list of every item taken from the body. In a letter answering a mother’s request regarding the delay in forwarding her son’s personal effects, the Chaplain of the, 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division wrote the following,

“I do not recall just what effects he had on his person. We gather everything that is possible to send home and forward it to the Division burial officer. They then pass through the Q.M. Department and are sent to the nearest of kin. The volume of business is so immense that I imagine it will take some time for them to reach home. I do recall he had a little folder with a crucifix and a scapular medal. They were forwarded with other things we had.”

Chaplains and other officers also did everything possible to prevent the looting of the dead, which, unfortunately was an all too common occurrence on the battlefield. The bodies of the dead soldiers were looted by reserve troops moving up to the front, stretcher bearers and other medical personnel as well as the other Allied soldiers who believed that every “Yank” was a millionaire because they were paid substantially more than the Allied soldiers. An Australian soldier, fighting alongside the American Doughboys in Flanders openly admitted and justified this behavior,

“Most of the men ‘souvinired’ the Americans before they were buried and some got great hauls of money (in French bank notes of course) as most Americans were wealthy and had plenty of money on them. This was quite alright as we may as well have had the money and make use of it (which we did) instead of burying it with them.”

Photo no. 55: This photo shows some of the small personal items that a Doughboy may have carries in his pockets or on his person. In the event of his death or wounding these items were to be collected and held at the hospital for him or forwarded to his family in the U.S. One Doughboy noted in his diary the items he removed from his buddy who had been killed in action,

“I took a testament bearing his wife’s name, a lock of his baby’s hair that had been sent to him by his wife, several letters, some photographs, a sweater and an I.D. card.”

It was a sad but true fact that many of the valuables carried by front line combat troops were stolen while they lay on the battlefield or during their medical treatment. According to a twice wounded 1st lieutenant in the 89th Division,

“Perhaps the chief evil was the ‘salvaging’ of the property of patients. A man who went to a hospital stood an even chance of losing his valuables. I know that on my first visit to the hospital I was robbed of money, German souvenirs and a cigarette case. The second time I lost my watch the only thing of value I had on me.” Clockwise from top:

1. Non regulation eyeglasses and case
2. Money belt
3. Enlisted mans “Individual Pay Record Book”
4. ID Tags on a commercially available chain made specifically for Doughboy dog tags.
5. Black leather YMCA billfold
6. Silver 303rd Infantry Regiment (76th Division) finger ring
7. Identification bracelet
8. Pocket knife
9. Match book donated by the Red Cross
10. Cigarette case
11. French date book and pencil
12. French/English “Parley Voo Booklet”, Kolynos was a popular brand of toothpaste and the booklets
were donated to the Doughboys as they left the U.S.
13. Khaki handkerchief with crossed rifles embroidered in white thread.
14. Commercially made locket collar disc with photograph
15. 1917 dated Bullova wristwatch
16. “Bull Durham” tobacco bag used to carry small change and a religious token.

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#61 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:55 PM

Photo no. 56: An inventory of every deceased Doughboy’s personal effects had to be made and forwarded to the Graves registration Service along with the items noted on the list in a personal effects bag. This list of items belonged to a soldier from the 3rd Division and was compiled by a Chaplain with the 7th Division.

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#62 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:56 PM

“The task of covering the body…”


Six feet of France to sleep in



Photo no. 57: Once the fallen soldiers were gathered, searched for identification and suitably covered in a blanket a shallow temporary grave was prepared.

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#63 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:58 PM

After the fallen soldiers had been gathered, searched, identified and suitably covered a shallow temporary grave was prepared, often under fire by pioneer troops, graves registration personnel, replacements and sometimes line troops. A Doughboy, in the 305th Machine Gun Battalion, who was assigned to help with the burying of the dead, recalled the grisly and sometimes dangerous duty, while in range of enemy artillery,

“Picks and shovels were carried around for the task of covering the body. We started the task but before we had gone very far the enemy, ever watchful, shelled us out. When the shelling ceased we returned and finished the job, which was not a pleasant one. Dog tags, papers and pictures which were scattered around were gathered up and turned in to the company commander.”

And an unlucky private serving in the 5th Marine Regiment, who was also detailed to help with the burial of his comrades, had this to say, after first noting his displeasure about the task,

“It was bad enough to see them killed and wounded, much less have to help bury them. Most of them were buried side by side in a long grave, a chaplain being in charge of the work.”

When the bodies were finally laid to rest, usually side by side in a shallow trench or large shell hole, one tag was buried with the body to be used when the body was exhumed later and moved to an official government plot. The other tag was placed on a wire ring in the sequence in which the bodies were laid in the temporary burial location; all of which was done under the supervision of a Chaplain or officer in charge. An unknown Doughboy wrote these brief remarks describing another hurried burial service held on the battlefield,

“The body is laid in a great shell crater with eleven others. The service is said by a chaplain who himself has fought in the ranks. He marks the grave with a cross made from a broken ammunition box.”

In March of 1918 the Secretary of War and the Navy both agreed to bury America’s soldier dead abroad and to return their bodies to the U.S. at some future date. By the time of the Armistice there were some 2,400 separate American burial places in Europe which were condensed down to seven hundred semi official burial plots, which in turn, were further reduced to just eight cemeteries. After the war Graves Registration details disinterred the remains of the Doughboys for reburial at one of the eight permanent National Cemeteries that were established for them in Europe. At the same time back in America, the families of the soldiers were asked to choose whether their loved ones should remain where they fell in Europe or be shipped back to the U.S. Approximately thirty five percent of the families decided that their kin should remain in one of the eight official cemeteries that were established; one in England, one in Belgium and six in France for our World War I dead.

During the war the use of dog tags combined with the efforts of the Quartermaster Corps, Graves Registration Service proved to be an effective measure to identify the dead and wounded of the A.E.F. and was so successful that out of the 116,708 deaths from combat and disease only 3,173 Doughboy’s were classified as unidentified or missing in action.

Photo No. 58: Long after the fighting had moved on, the hundreds of temporary field graves were dug up and the remains were reburied in semi official cemeteries that were dedicated solely to the Doughboys of the A.E.F., like this one located near Chateau Thierry where each grave is marked by a red, white and blue wreath bearing the soldiers name. Later eight of these cemeteries would be made into permanent cemeteries with each resting place marked by a white marble cross carved with the fallen soldier’s name.

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#64 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 02:02 PM

Photo no 59: Of the two million Doughboys who served in France more than 100,000 of them died overseas. Thirty five percent remain buried in Europe and sixty five percent were returned to the U.S. during the 1920’s and 1930’s to be buried by their family. Below are a few items used to remember those who were killed in action. Clockwise from top left:

1. Forty eight star flags like this were used to mark the grave of the war dead abroad and in the U.S.

2. One of the many WW I bronze grave markers that were sold after the Armistice in America.

3. Many soldiers were allowed to return home for a final visit. Some arrived home bearing gifts, and for
many a gold star mother the last thing she received from her son was a patriotic pillow sham.

4. A set of Doughboy dog tags that have been unofficially stamped “Send for a priest”.

5. Photos of loved ones in uniform, who were killed in action were cherished by grieving families.

6. This official A.E.F. document lists the personal effects taken from a dead soldier from the 3rd Division.

7. Photo postcards showing A.E.F. cemeteries were popular wartime and post war souvenirs.

8. When the belongings of a deceased soldier were collected before burial, they were placed in an “effects
bag” which was labeled and forwarded to his next of kin.

9. Another example of a post war bronze grave marker used for WW I veteran’s graves.

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#65 bobgee

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 02:40 PM

Photo no. 47: At first glance the history of this Marine ID Tag seems confusing but upon closer inspection it reveals that it was originally stamped per the August 1917 regulations and contained the Marine’s name, rank and the initials “U.S.M.C.” on the front and the low serial number of 272,005, his date of enlistment and his unit designation, that of the 2nd Replacement Battalion on the reverse. Ultimately he was assigned to the 134th Company and he field modified the tag by scratching out his previous outfit and stamped his new (134th Company) outfit above the serial number. The second hole punched through at the top of the tag was most likely used to suspend the secondary tag. The numerals “66-5” crudely marked on the front of the tag remain a mystery. If any forum member can identify the meaning of the number 66-5 please make a post. (Courtesy of forum member teufelhund)


NOTE: Brian - Pvt Elmer H. REED USMC served in the 66th Company, 5th Marines! Confirmed in Ancestry.Com Great Thread!
Semper Fi......Bobgee

#66 world war I nerd

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for that info bobgee.

So does that mean that the 134th Co, scratched onto his tag, was his company number in the 2nd replacement Battalion?

Or would it have some other meaning?

#67 bobgee

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 04:29 AM

Thanks for that info bobgee.

So does that mean that the 134th Co, scratched onto his tag, was his company number in the 2nd replacement Battalion?

Or would it have some other meaning?


You are correct. he was with the 134th (Repl) Co until May 11, 1918 when he was transferred to 66th Co. 5th Marines.
Semper Fi......Bob

#68 New Romantic

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:12 PM

This is a tremendous resource Brian, I know very little about the ID tags and the info here is superb http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif !

#69 Rattle

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:04 AM

A single ID Tag was worn by all soldiers until July 6, 1916, when the War Department directed that two ID Tags would be worn instead of one. In part the directive stated,

"When equipped for field duty two identification tags will be worn under the shirt, one tag to be suspended from a cord or thong around the neck, the second tag to be suspended from the first one by a short piece of string or tape."
Photo no. 11: Here another group of soldiers assigned to KP duty circa 1917, pose for an unknown photographer and are wearing a wide variety of military clothing including three vastly different undershirts and a pair of blue denim overalls. The soldier in back, wearing the cook's hat has a pair of ID Tags hung around his neck that appear to be comprised of two smaller size 1906 tags.


These are cooks of the 1st Pioneer Infantry.

Regards,
Stephan

#70 MAW

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:20 AM

Photo no. 33: This ID Tag has had the setting sun emblem of the 41st or “Sunset” Division carved onto the reverse side. (Courtesy of Bay State Militaria)



FWIW...I sold this tag and painted helmet to Bay State. They originated in a barn in Meigs County, Ohio.....along the Ohio river. This tag was 100% original, done by the vet.

#71 world war I nerd

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:19 AM

Thanks, for your input, Rattle and Maw,

Stephen,

How were you able to ID the cooks in photo no. 11 as being with the ist Pioneer Infantry?

And Maw,

Thanks, for letting us know the history of the tag shown in photo no. 33.

#72 teufelhund

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:42 AM

and Joined the Casual Detach Marine Barrack , Philadelphia Pa
Photo no. 47: At first glance the history of this Marine ID Tag seems confusing but upon closer inspection it reveals that it was originally stamped per the August 1917 regulations and contained the Marine’s name, rank and the initials “U.S.M.C.” on the front and the low serial number of 272,005, his date of enlistment and his unit designation, that of the 2nd Replacement Battalion on the reverse. Ultimately he was assigned to the 134th Company and he field modified the tag by scratching out his previous outfit and stamped his new (134th Company) outfit above the serial number. The second hole punched through at the top of the tag was most likely used to suspend the secondary tag. The numerals “66-5” crudely marked on the front of the tag remain a mystery. If any forum member can identify the meaning of the number 66-5 please make a post. (Courtesy of forum member teufelhund)



I forgot to mention you

Elmer Reed has been transfered from the 134th repl Battalion to the 66th Cy Marine which explains the numeral 66-5
He was wounded on June 6 at Belleau Wood and evacuated to Hospital
Transfered on June 20to the 2nd repl Bat USMC
Returned to USA on Feb 26, 1919 joined Casual detac Marine Barrack Philadelphia, Pa
T

#73 BERLIN RED

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:45 PM

Here are multiple sets of tags from the same soldier from the 41st 163rd.  (I don't know the order of use)  Couldn't get a good close up of them.  Extensive personal grouping that lacks uniforms.   Jared

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#74 world war I nerd

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 12:01 AM

Hi Jared,

 

I'm surprised that anybody still looks at this old post! 

 

From left to right it looks as if you've displayed your ID tags in chronological order: the early small sized tag, followed by the larger tags, which bear the soldier's regimental number and his company designation, followed by the late war tags that were sanitized of all unit information except for the initials USA.

 

That looks like a nice little group of personal possessions. What is the rectangular object with the star on it, directly underneath the camouflage helmet, and the item on the lower shelf under the flag with a red cross on its front?

 

Thanks for posting,

 

Brian



#75 268th C.A.

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 02:29 PM

In reference to looted items from the wounded & dead. A friend of mine a WW2 veteran told me in Italy he had a nice collection of German items he had collected, including a Lugar, an Illinois rail road pock watch he took off a German that had obviously  taken it off a GI. when he has severely wounded at Anzio, they stole all his items, When he was shipped home, A package was there for him. He opened it to his surprise was the pocket watch, Thinking it was probably his Dads they sent it home. "Jessie Poor" God bless.

Another Veteran 97, Told me he was in quartermaster corps, unloading 55 gal. drums of gasoline, days after D-day. He was approached and asked if anyone would like to volunteer for graves registration, He did. He said it was better than heavy work he had been assigned. He told me they would collect all dead, Separate the enemy soldiers, Cut the pockets with a pocket knife, collect all the items, put them in a personal effects bag along with one dog tag.  The other would be buried with the body until recovered for proper burial. They also buried the enemy soldiers as well in a separate area. I have the upmost respect for him. What a horrible  job. thought I'd share the story. God bless our veterans one & All. You never know what someone's seen or been though until they tell you.  if they ever share the stories.....David cac268th

 

Thanks for this wonderful thread! I learned something here....isn't the forum GREAT!




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