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Graves Registration Manuals & Items


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Part of a chaplains duties was assisting Graves Registration units.

The chaplain would receive instruction during the basic course.

Many times they would assist gathering the remains on the battlefield.

They would also provide care and services at the gravesite.

They were also involved and continue to support the recovery of remains.

Here are a selection of WWII and post war manuals.

 

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Thanks for posting these, Chap! I need to see if I can get a couple of scans for the appendix on graves registration for my next book - they look like they'd be extremely fitting to tell the story. I found some really excellent photos, especially of the return of US casualties in 1948, but it would be good to have some of the references on the initial burying side as well.

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Dave,

I noticed that both the 1941 and 1945 are digital and online.

I couldn't find the QMC 16-2 dated 1947 online. This is very interesting and has a number of pics documenting the processing of remains. Not for the faint of heart.

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Chap, where the heck did you find WWII unused crosses for graves?? I can't imaging there would be any still around. What is the provenance of these? I'm by no means saying they are not original - I'm sure they are. It's just that is a very unusual find.

 

Thanks,

Steve

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Chap, where the heck did you find WWII unused crosses for graves?? I can't imaging there would be any still around. What is the provenance of these? I'm by no means saying they are not original - I'm sure they are. It's just that is a very unusual find.

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

Steve,

A number of years ago a surplus dealer in California had them. They were made in preparation for the invasion of Japan.

The paint is very old and faded in places.

Also of the three I had, only one could fit together. The others had shrunk/warped in a way so they couldn't fit together.

 

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Nice stuff chap! Finally found a fellow collector with a same interest. I have some goodies myself I would like to share:

 

http://qmgrs.com/category/equipment/books-paperwork/

http://qmgrs.com/category/equipment/clothing/

http://qmgrs.com/category/equipment/field-equipment/

 
US WWII period collector of everything Graves Registration Service related. Contact me if you have such items for sale.
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  • 6 months later...

Here's a little something I can add as well to this thead.....

 

As some of you know I am primarily a 29th ID/116th IR collector, which is why I have had this Ike for almost 20 years now....it belonged to S/Sgt. William David 'Bud' Orndorff (1901-1984), a local man (to me) who first joined the NG in 1923, took a break from 1933-'37 and re-enlisted in 1938....he was in Company I, 116th IR when they were called into Federal Service on 3 Feb 1941 and was in the Army until 5 Nov 1945 when he was separated from duty at Ft. Meade, MD.

 

I had thought for many years that he stayed with the 116th throughout WW2 but this was not the case. With the help of Geoff at Golden Arrow research (thanks Geoff! :) ) Bud Orndorff's records were retrieved and they show that in late 1942 or '43 (records aren't too clear here due to the fire and faded ink) he was transferred into the Quartermaster Corps. The records also pull together why the Ike is decorated as it is and why. As you can see it does have 1941-'42 vintage collar disks from his days in his home unit In Winchester, Virginia....Probably worn on the Ike out of pride for the home crowd.

 

From the middle of 1944-on it appears that Bud was in various Grave Registration Companies... some of the units listed in his records are the 3058th QM GR Co., 3207th, 306th QM Bn, and the 605th QM GR Co...just all over the place. HIs DD-214 has the 3807th QM Svc. Co. as unit, MOS is 745 (platoon leader).

 

I have to wonder if it would have been possible after D-Day for Bud Orndorff to have been part of a detail that would have buried some of his own buddies he knew in the 116th from back home; I can't imagine how difficult something like this may have been.

 

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(Dunno why it's sideways..?)

 

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Interesting and unusual set. Great find as I'd guess few survived.

 

I believe the green glass bottles held a small rolled identification document and were placed in the grave in two places, head and ? The idea was the sealed container was easily identified and could be recovered to identify the remains.

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I served as a Mortuary Affairs (what GR is now) during OIF III. Thanks for sharing these books and other information. Its really interesting how this Quartermaster function has evolved over the decades.

WANTED: I collect materials of any age related to the US Army Quartermaster Corps and from the long-defunct Commissary / Subsistence Corps. Anything goes and it doesn't have to be identified to a vet. If it's weird or unusual, please PM me! ASMIC #5650

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  • 11 months later...

The history of the U.S. Army graves registration is traced to an Army Chaplain during the Spanish American War. He was called back to the Army for the "Great War" as a Quartermaster. His mission was to establish a proper way (Graves Registration) to account for the war dead.

Here is an article about the history.

www.alu.army.mil/alog/2014/JulAug14/PDF/128693.pdf

 

Another great work is the "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Faust. A well written work that shows the impact of the Civil War.

 

Here is a link to the book.

 

https://www.amazon.com/This-Republic-Suffering-American-Vintage/dp/0375703837

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I am looking for original Grave Registration documents like the FM 10-63 or anything else relating to this, also looking for X-files. relating to soldier killed/missing in the Netherlands

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PLEASE CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE ABOUT MISSING SOLDIERS IN THE NETHERLANDS 1940-1945, ALWAYS LOOKING FOR INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION ABOUT MISSINGSOLDIERS. WWW.ARNHEM1944THEMISSINGONES.COM

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ID plate of the temporary grave PFC Thomas Rodgers (DSC) 504th PIR KIA Normandy

Found near former #1 provisional cemetery Sainte Mère Eglise and returned to Family

 

 

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WOODS NOW U.S MARINE CORPS ENTIRELY, our lines include now the entire Bois de Belleau. Signed, Major Shearer "Skipper" 5Th Marines, 3rd Bat - June 25th 1918

 

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