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Dog Tags Styles and examples Part 1


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The Quartermaster Museum used to get the question about the dog tag in the teeth frequently. To answer it I posted the following 1988 article on dog tags on their website that dispels the myth: http://www.qmfound.com/short_history_of_id...cation_tags.htm

Kevin

 

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First off, the guy was not lying to you he was telling you what he believed was true. Also there a a grain of truth in the old wives tale, as there usually is, the dog tag was often placed in the body's mouth so it could be easily found and would not get lost during transport. This was not a universal practice but apparently common enough to be the foundation for the more gruesome versions of the story.

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Heh.... Well thanks for dispelling the myth. It's funny that my dad passed that onto me as well...

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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I heard it all my life from my father and veteran uncles. they certainly believed it. the story i was told was that when rigor mortis set in, the notch would hold the tag in the teeth , for years if needed.

 

it really doesn't make sense as the notch really not help hold it place.

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How many people can actually open their mouths wide enough to fit a whole dog tag, length wise, into their mouth?

 

 

I knew a girl once...uh never mind. :rolleyes:

 

Seriously.It is a myth,urban legend or what ever we may call it.I have collected for over 35 =years and have heard this story from WW2 to Viet Nam vets.Could it have been something sais to recruits at boot camp??

 

RON

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Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
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"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

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I heard this too from my Dad, I bet it was a boot camp tale that they all took for the real truth

Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



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I heard it all my life from my father and veteran uncles. they certainly believed it. the story i was told was that when rigor mortis set in, the notch would hold the tag in the teeth , for years if needed.

 

it really doesn't make sense as the notch really not help hold it place.

 

My dad told me that they would slam the mouth shut so the notch would stick between the teeth. With the spate of war movies, I am really surprised that we haven't seen this myth in action....

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Myself and another collector just last Friday were talking about how our military veteran dads each told us the same myth about the notch. I've wondered if this myth was spread mostly by guys like my dad who served in post-WWII era and were never in a combat zone?

 

My Marine dogtags from Vietnam have that same notch. I was a combat troop and we were told virtually the same thing.....that the notch was to help seat one of the tags between two teeth so a body could be identified later.

 

True? I don't know. I believed it. However, while my unit suffered several KIAs over the course of my tour, I never did this, or even sever aw it done. Of course, in my unit, if someone was killed it meant we had been discovered by the enemy. Normal practice was to extract the team along with the body/bodies. If there were casualties, first stop was the 1st Med BN where the body/bodies were dropped off before we returned to our base so there was really no need to do this.

Semper fi; Bill











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Yep, it's a myth. It's a story my Dad enjoyed grossing me out with when I was much younger, though!

 

Here's a website with, hopefully, the final word on the real use of the notch in a dog tag:

 

http://www.dogtagsrus.com/addressograph%20...0dog%20tags.htm

 

As Paul Harvey says, "And now, the rest of the story!" Great dogtag site which explains the purpose of the notch. I do recall that in the mid-50s USMC when I served the "notch & tooth" story was what we believed! It made sense to us.

Re: Dogtags, remember that the USMC & USN in WWII used an oval tag, very different from the Army, and they had no notch.

Semper Fi....Bobgee

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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These tags are from:

Olaf W Frisk

37047442 T41S42

Arthur Frisk

 

Elkhart Iowa

A P

 

3018th AAFBU Kingman Arizona was on some of his papers. I think he may have been stationed in New Guinea

because they were found in a Cigarette Case with his name on the back.

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Here's a really nice WWII Coast Guard dog tag with an acid etched thumb print on the back. It's a heavier metal than other oval tags I've got. Does anyone know a sites or any way to research Coast Guard items?

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I hope I'm not boring anyone with all my posts in this thread. :P

Here's another tag I picked up recently. I tend to stick to WWII tags but just had to have this one. A Quaker Marine, that can't be too common. Quaker's are of a religion that's very much against war and conflict. The blurring is done to hide his social security number.

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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER

805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

 

 

 

Identification Tags ("Dog Tags") - World War I

 

Every Man in Navy to Wear Metal Identification Tag

 

Every officer and enlisted man in the United States Navy will wear a metal identification tag which will bear the wearer's name, the date of his birth and enlistment, and, in the case of an officer, his rank and date of appointment. On the other side will be etched the fingerprint of his right index finger. This is part of what naval officers regard as the best system of identification known, superior to that in use in European armies and navies.

 

The identification tag for officers and enlisted men of the Navy consists of an oval plate of monel metal, 1.25 by 1.50 inches, perforated at one end and suspended from the neck by a monel wire incased in a cotton sleeve.

 

The tag has on one side the etched fingerprint of the right index finger. On the other side are to be etched the individual's initials and surname, the month, day, and year of enlistment, expressed in numerals (e.g., 1, 5, 1916), and the month, day, and year of birth (similarly expressed). This side will also bear the letters U.S.N.; for officers-initials and surname, the rank held, and date of appointment.

 

A copy of each fingerprint on paper is supplied to the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department, where it is filed in the identification section, this particular work being in charge of J.H. Taylor, fingerprint expert, who devised the tag adopted. Mr. J. Herbert Taylor is nationally recognized as an expert in fingerprint identification. No fraudulent enlister, with prior naval service, has been able to avoid discovery since Mr. Taylor has taken charge of the work. Mr. Taylor's work not only extends to the discovery of fraudulent enlisters, but has frequently been valuable in identifying dead men of whose identity there was doubt.

 

Source: "Every Man in Navy to Wear Metal Identification Tag." Our Navy. 11, no.4 (August 1917): 39.

 

---

 

Identification Tags - World War II

 

In accordance with an approved change to Navy Regulations, two identification tags are mandatory for wear by all naval personnel in time of war or national emergency. In case of capture or death, one tag remains on the person while the other is forwarded to the Bureau. International Convention provides that the foreign power into whose custody a man may fall, return one tag through the International Red Cross.

 

Information required to be stamped or etched on each tag (on one side only) is as follows: (a) name; (b ) officer's jacket number or man's service number; (c ) blood type; (d) date of administration of tetanus toxoid (e.g., T-8/16/42); (e) appropriate letters, "USN," "USNR," etc. The placing of religious preference ("P" for Protestant, "C" for Catholic, and "H" for Hebrew) is optional.

 

New tags are made of 17 percent chrome (stainless) steel, and are oval in shape. Tags now in use are to be retained as one of the two.

 

A new braided plastic and steel-wire cable, with a 24-inch loop and an attachment for both tags, will be available to all personnel in the immediate future. The wire is designed to withstand a temperature of 2,000 degrees and will retain at least a 5-pound pull even after heat has burned the plastic composition. The wire is designed to break at 21 pounds, when unburned, to prevent accidental injury to the wearer, and can be cut readily with a knife. In addition, the jump ring may be opened to facilitate detachment of tags.

 

Sources of supply for both tags and cables are Naval Supply Depot, Bayonne, NJ, and Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, Calif., on requisition. Official promulgation of regulations governing the above is contained in R-1083 and R-1105 of the 1 June 1943 Navy Department Bulletin.

 

Source: "Identification Tags." Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin. 317 (August 1943): 65.

 

---

 

Ships & Stations

 

Something new in dog tags has been developed by Comdr. Frank E. Jeffreys, (DC) USN, now on the staff of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., who worked out a technique by which a serviceman's name and other pertinent data to aid in casualty identification may be inscribed on the plate of his false teeth. The information is typed on a sheet of onionskin paper and then, before the plate is completed, transferred through the use of a carbon duplicator.

 

Source: "Ships & Stations." Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin. 334 (January 1945): 47.

 

---

 

'Dog Tag' Survey Made: Unofficial Results Surprising

 

While browsing through OpNav Instruction 3710.7A, dated 31 December 1956, we chanced upon a number of interesting items. How to fill out a DD 175 flight clearance form is spelled out for the first time. The order requiring all personnel to wear identification tags during aerial flight is still in effect.

 

Little has been said recently about wearing "dog tags," and just out of curiosity, NANews had a survey made at a naval air station. Each time a pilot presented a flight clearance for signature, he was asked if he had on his dog tag.

 

The results were somewhat surprising. Out of 86 pilots surveyed, 20 had on dog tags, 18 had no tags at all, and the rest "had them somewhere, but darned if I know where they are."

 

Source: "'Dog Tag' Survey Made: Unofficial Results Surprising." Naval Aviation News. (April 1957): 16.

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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER

805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Identification Tags ("Dog Tags") - World War I

 

Every Man in Navy to Wear Metal Identification Tag

 

Every officer and enlisted man in the United States Navy will wear a metal identification tag which will bear the wearer's name, the date of his birth and enlistment, and, in the case of an officer, his rank and date of appointment. On the other side will be etched the fingerprint of his right index finger. This is part of what naval officers regard as the best system of identification known, superior to that in use in European armies and navies.

 

The identification tag for officers and enlisted men of the Navy consists of an oval plate of monel metal, 1.25 by 1.50 inches, perforated at one end and suspended from the neck by a monel wire incased in a cotton sleeve.

 

The tag has on one side the etched fingerprint of the right index finger. On the other side are to be etched the individual's initials and surname, the month, day, and year of enlistment, expressed in numerals (e.g., 1, 5, 1916), and the month, day, and year of birth (similarly expressed). This side will also bear the letters U.S.N.; for officers-initials and surname, the rank held, and date of appointment.

 

A copy of each fingerprint on paper is supplied to the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department, where it is filed in the identification section, this particular work being in charge of J.H. Taylor, fingerprint expert, who devised the tag adopted. Mr. J. Herbert Taylor is nationally recognized as an expert in fingerprint identification. No fraudulent enlister, with prior naval service, has been able to avoid discovery since Mr. Taylor has taken charge of the work. Mr. Taylor's work not only extends to the discovery of fraudulent enlisters, but has frequently been valuable in identifying dead men of whose identity there was doubt.

 

Source: "Every Man in Navy to Wear Metal Identification Tag." Our Navy. 11, no.4 (August 1917): 39.

 

---

 

Identification Tags - World War II

 

In accordance with an approved change to Navy Regulations, two identification tags are mandatory for wear by all naval personnel in time of war or national emergency. In case of capture or death, one tag remains on the person while the other is forwarded to the Bureau. International Convention provides that the foreign power into whose custody a man may fall, return one tag through the International Red Cross.

 

Information required to be stamped or etched on each tag (on one side only) is as follows: (a) name; (b ) officer's jacket number or man's service number; (c ) blood type; (d) date of administration of tetanus toxoid (e.g., T-8/16/42); (e) appropriate letters, "USN," "USNR," etc. The placing of religious preference ("P" for Protestant, "C" for Catholic, and "H" for Hebrew) is optional.

 

New tags are made of 17 percent chrome (stainless) steel, and are oval in shape. Tags now in use are to be retained as one of the two.

 

A new braided plastic and steel-wire cable, with a 24-inch loop and an attachment for both tags, will be available to all personnel in the immediate future. The wire is designed to withstand a temperature of 2,000 degrees and will retain at least a 5-pound pull even after heat has burned the plastic composition. The wire is designed to break at 21 pounds, when unburned, to prevent accidental injury to the wearer, and can be cut readily with a knife. In addition, the jump ring may be opened to facilitate detachment of tags.

 

Sources of supply for both tags and cables are Naval Supply Depot, Bayonne, NJ, and Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, Calif., on requisition. Official promulgation of regulations governing the above is contained in R-1083 and R-1105 of the 1 June 1943 Navy Department Bulletin.

 

Source: "Identification Tags." Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin. 317 (August 1943): 65.

 

---

 

Ships & Stations

 

Something new in dog tags has been developed by Comdr. Frank E. Jeffreys, (DC) USN, now on the staff of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., who worked out a technique by which a serviceman's name and other pertinent data to aid in casualty identification may be inscribed on the plate of his false teeth. The information is typed on a sheet of onionskin paper and then, before the plate is completed, transferred through the use of a carbon duplicator.

 

Source: "Ships & Stations." Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin. 334 (January 1945): 47.

 

---

 

'Dog Tag' Survey Made: Unofficial Results Surprising

 

While browsing through OpNav Instruction 3710.7A, dated 31 December 1956, we chanced upon a number of interesting items. How to fill out a DD 175 flight clearance form is spelled out for the first time. The order requiring all personnel to wear identification tags during aerial flight is still in effect.

 

Little has been said recently about wearing "dog tags," and just out of curiosity, NANews had a survey made at a naval air station. Each time a pilot presented a flight clearance for signature, he was asked if he had on his dog tag.

 

The results were somewhat surprising. Out of 86 pilots surveyed, 20 had on dog tags, 18 had no tags at all, and the rest "had them somewhere, but darned if I know where they are."

 

Source: "'Dog Tag' Survey Made: Unofficial Results Surprising." Naval Aviation News. (April 1957): 16.

I remember in my younger days when I worked the flight deck, (before moving into the OPS world) we were told to lace at least one tag into our boot laces. The thought was that if we went through a prop of into a jet intake, since you seemed to go head first, our feet would survive more or less intact. Still got my tags.

Steve Hesson

Steve Hesson

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Steve B. beat me to the answer. I spoke to a GRS veteran who explained the Address O Graph to me. Here is mine with the instruction sheet. He also told how they would be billeted in a different town than the troops because when they were in the area the troops would know an offensive was coming. This is the second one I have owned.


Ray

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Interesting pics of the addresso graph, thanks for sharing. I've been meaning to get one but just haven't found a decent one. Could you post a photo of the area where the tag would sit while being stamped? I can't remember having ever actually seen one before.

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There was a scene in a movie that featured the old dog tag in the teeth myth. I want to say it was A Midnight Clear but it could have been When Trumpets Fade. I'm having a CRS moment. :) Anyway, the myth really doesn't stand up to much scrutiny because a not insignificant proportion of casualties suffered mandible injuries. What if the trooper had a incisor removed by a dentist?

 

Nice story, but I remember quite a few myths like that from my time in the military.

Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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Dwight - It was A Midnight Clear, great movie.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Time to downsize! I'm selling off a large portion of my collection. Message me for the most up to date list of items.

I have American and foreign; Army, Air Force, and Navy; Span-Am War to current; mostly originals but some reproductions.

 

Always looking for numbered Purple Hearts and Silver Stars. Message me if you have any, maybe we can make a deal.

 

Looking for Purple Heart number 172669.

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Interesting pics of the addresso graph, thanks for sharing. I've been meaning to get one but just haven't found a decent one. Could you post a photo of the area where the tag would sit while being stamped? I can't remember having ever actually seen one before.


Here you go.

Ray

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Anatomically speaking, I don't think that it is possible. The roof of the mouth is called the "Hard Palate". This bone structure would prevent the tag from incising into the roof of the mouth, lest considerable force was used. Wouldn't this be disrespectful to war dead?

 

I thought that I would toss in some medical knowledge to add to the discussion.........

 

Patriot

In memory of Lance Corporal Jeremy S. Lasher, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Killed in Action July 23, 2009, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Semper Fi

Lance Corporal's 2/8 challenge coin was STOLEN from his grave. Please see the following forum link for details: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/210650-challenge-coin-stolen-from-marine-kia-grave/&do=findComment&comment=1654270

 



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How was the fingerprint imprinted onto the tags ?

Always on the look out for Navy related gear not forgetting the Coast Guard and the forgotten US Maritime Service and the ATC the Armys Navy.

The Living

Dad Sgt LJ Cox ex 27RSAR 1962 to 1978 and Sgt qualified Inspector Northern Territory Police 1971 to 1980

RIP

Rossco Cox 70th AASL Darwin 41-45

Harold Williamson 12Batt KIA Gallipoli 1915

C E Pannell 55 Sqdn RAAF Middle East

William Bowes 3rd Light Horse Gallipoli and Palestine,Middle East

The 3 Bowes boys Max, Herb,Theo the Tobruk Rats 10 batt went to war at the ages of 14 to 16.

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Here is a dogtag that is not in great condition. But there is a great story behind it.

 

Someone in Italy found my website and wrote me about this dogtag that his father found in a barn on their property---don't know when but probably years ago. Since they lived in the mountains of Italy, he assumed ( 1) that the GI was a member of the 10th Mountain Division and (2) that he was probably killed in action, thus having lost his dogtag. His request was that I help him locate the family of the soldier so he could return it to the next of kin.

 

Dogtag_ECuba.jpg

 

I began researching the name with the help of a genealogist friend. I was almost sure the soldier wasn't a member of the 10 Mtn Div because they arrived too late in the war to do much fighting in the mountains and their Veteran's website listed all KIA's. We made an identification. My genealogy friend can find enlistment records on-line.

Edwin Cuba was a cryptologist who probably served in the HQ of the II Corps. He was not KIA. We located and contacted his daughter who related that Edwin Cuba died in a car wreck in the early 1950's when she was only 4 years old. The dogtag was returned to her.

 

Steve

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I'm looking at buying a pair of WWI USMC dogtags. I was wondering what would be a fair price to pay, they've asked me to make an offer. thanks!

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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