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Child's WWII "Dog Tag"


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I took a chance and bought this dog tag thinking it is a scarce one made for children during the war. I looked up this boy on Ancestry.com and he was 13 years old when we went to war. Unlike military issue tags from the period, there is no service number, blood type, religion, etc.

 

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I just remembered a funny story that a lady told me once. I was asked how much a dogtag was worth. She had purchsed a dogtag during the war.... I think she was around fourteen.... and wore it around her neck. When I asked her why she told me that she wanted everyone to think she had a boyfriend in the service.... it was the patriotic thing to do. Oh.... why didn't you just find a boyfriend in the service? "No one would have dated me and I don't think anyone even believed my boyfriend story back then." :)

 

I wish I could find the closed auction on eBay, but I think it is too old now and has been removed. There was a person selling the dog tag made for his grandmother during the war. She was a small girl at the time and wore it as ID rather than as a novilty. I was going to bid on it, as a nifty homefront item, but it sold for some serious money. Perhaps we might get more discussion on the subject if this post is moved to the "Qualification Badges, DUIs, & Awards" section or "Homefront" section.
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I took a chance and bought this dog tag thinking it is a scare one made for children during the war. I looked up this boy on Ancestry.com and he was 13 years old when we went to war. Unlike military issue tags from the period, there is no service number, blood type, religion, etc. Also, he is recorded with first name, middle initial, and then last name, rather than last name first. Did I guess right?

 

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I think you are right. Mr. Gavin was a kid during WWII, so this is not his military id tag. However, his father was the representative for the Veterans Administration in New Hampshire from 1948 into the 1950s according to NH newspapers. As such, he would have access to the equipment and personnel who made dogtags and the similar id tags for files.

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Jon---

 

Thanks for your reply. You have emphasized the point that I was trying to make, which is that the tag was intended to be used as ID and not just worn as a novelty. I would like to see some of the tags you mentioned. I have to believe having them for an entire family is a rare thing!

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I have been doing more research on this subject and learned that immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a great push to issue to children identification tags. Although there were many communities that did so, the greatest efforts were made in the states of the eastern seaboard and on the west coast. Children were to be "tagged" in the event of evacuation or disaster. Obviously, if there was to an attack on the US, these regions would be among the first hit. This tag comes from New Hampshire.

 

It appears there were any number of variations in the ID tags. Some were described as being like those issued to service men, while some were discs. Both metal and plastis was used. Information on the tags could be as complete as to include child's name, parents' names, address, birth date, physical description, and a serial number kept on file. Tags were distributed among the schools, through municpal and county officies, Civil Defense authorities, etc. And we are not talking a few! There were communities that registered and "tagged" thousands of children.

 

It would seem that in the move to make tags for the children, all expedient measures would be taken. One can easily imagine that, if available, some of these tags would be made on the same blanks used for GI "dog tags."

 

This is from a Rhode Island paper dated May 1942...

 

 

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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

 

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