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Possible KIA dogtag


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I just got back from a local antique store where I found a dogtag named to a Will*iam B. Matt*hess, and after a very quick internet search I discovered that there was a 2nd Lt. by that name buried in the same city as where I found the tag who was killed on March 8th, 1945 presumably when the 47th Inf. 9th Div was crossing the Rhine River at Remagen. I am pretty sure they have to be the same person but the problem I have is that the dog tag has an enlisted serial number instead of an officers one.

 

The question that I have is, if the soldier had started out as enlisted and been promoted would he be issued a new service number and dog tags meaning it is possible that they are his? Thanks for looking and I will post the tag soon as well as anything else of his I might find. 

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He would have gotten a new dog tag set and serial number when he became an officer.


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Check out my online collection of dog tags... http://historicdogtags.com LOOKING FOR DOG TAGS.... CIVIL WAR, WWI, WWII, KOREAN WAR, AND VIETNAM.PM ME IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING! I WILL LET YOU KNOW IF IM INTERESTED.THANKS,USDOG
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11 minutes ago, USdog said:

He would have gotten a new dog tag set and serial number when he became an officer.

Thanks for the quick reply confirming that.  I think this tag is most likely his then, he must have sent his old ones home when he got promoted. From what I can find he entered the service in Mid 1941 so he must have seen quite a bit of service. There is some 9th Division stuff at the store that stands a pretty good chance of his so hopefully some other stuff turns up.

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It is possible and I checked and theyre indeed both from the same place so id say this is a 99% hit. I also checked in the enlistment records and his last name is pretty uncommon as well ( only 7 people including his brother ) I have a dog tag set of a 1st ranger that got killed in action with the FSSF during the Southern France invasion bought from an estate sale years ago. Probably also his early set so I think you really have a high chance.

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Thanks, I agree the last name is a unique one, which is probably why it was relatively easy to find the information on him and his brother although I forgot to check the ww2 enlistment site so thank you for reminding me about that. WW2 dog tags are something that I rarely find in the wild for some reason so I have very little experience with them and your opinion certainly helps. I have only found one other in the last 3 years collecting, also to an officer, but it looks like this pair was certainly worth rescuing from the store.

 

Also that is an awesome pair of dog tags to have found, really neat to see anything from the rangers. 

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Yes but problem with your tag is he isnt in the records i think his file was in the 70's archive fire. But I checked the 2nd digit from his ASN which tells the area he came from and number 7 is the right number. I also have a dog tag of a guy with very uncommon name that went MIA in Korea as 1st lieutenant so the ASNs were different as well but the place matched and the fact you have an uncommon name makes it a 100% match. Very nice item ;)

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Thanks, now I just have to go back and buy the 9th division patches the shop has and anything else I might find. I guess I should also be on the lookout for anything that could have belonged to his brother. Once I print off some of the news paper articles and get a riker box this should make a nice little display in his honor. 

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So I am sure now that it is the same man, I found more stuff from the brothers and according to the owner there was more stuff brought in with the lot but when I asked where it was I got a shrug and told that it was probably scattered around the store by now. Along with some patches what I have found however is a letter for a Miss Delight Matthess which has a prayer for people serving overseas, I found online that Miss Matthess was the wife of Mrs. Delmar Jump as of 1946, and that Mrs. Jump was Williams sister... soooo I am going to assume that one of the articles I found is wrong as to how she is related but clearly she is involved with the family in some way.

 

The second think that I found was a Signal Corps Message book marked "Troop I, 113" Cav". There are a bunch of interesting messages in the book and some code, however the one message dated by year in the book puts it at 1942 when the unit was training so everything in it is likely made up training scenareos not actual enemy contact. This would also probebly explain how the family had it after Sgt. Robert Matthess was killed in France. 

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Thanks! I look forward to presenting it, this is my first KIA grouping so I am pretty excited by it and want to do it right. At the moment I am still sifting through big bags of collar insignia for the ones that match what the brothers would have worn. Unfortunately all of the common stuff like collar brass got dumped in several big bags making it more expensive and harder to track down.

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