U.S. ARMY WWII DOG TAGS
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In order to help collectors & re-enactors complete their impressions the correct way, I thought it might come in handy to say a few words about Identification Tags, aka Dog Tags worn by U.S. Army personnel during World War II . Several ‘groups’ and ‘specialists’ had specific prefixes on their Identification Tags and, while dealing with the subject, I think a few more notes on “Dog Tags” in general, would also help … as you know the sole purpose of wearing Dog Tags is to enable positive identification of a casualty or remains, and to make a difference both for families and authorities, should the person end up as being known but to God !

The Identification Tag was first introduced December 20, 1906 by General Order No. 24 which described it as follows: “… an aluminum Identification Tag, the size of a silver Half Dollar, stamped with the name, rank, company, regiment, or corps of the wearer; it will be worn by each Officer and enlisted man of the Army whenever the field kit is worn; it will be suspended from the neck, underneath the clothing by means of a cord or thong passed through a small hole in the tag; it is further described as being part of the uniform …” this tag will be issued by the Quartermaster Corps gratuitously to enlisted men and at cost price to the Officers !

BRIEF HISTORY

20 DEC 1906
06 JULY 1916
12 FEB 1918
OCT 1938
official introduction of ONE Dog Tag
official introduction of SECOND Dog Tag, i.e a full pair is now required
official introduction of ARMY SERIAL NUMBER (too many identical names e.g. Brown, Jones, Williams …)
start of tests related to introduction of new Identification Tag

TAG, IDENTIFICATION, M-1940 - Stock No. 74-T-60

official stocklist number nomenclature, adopted February 15, 1940
description : rectangular shape, smooth rounded corners, small rolled edges, 2” long, 1 1/8” wide, and 1/40” thick, with notch at left (to position Tag on embossing machine), and 1/8” (dia) hole for necklace; material, manufactured in either brass or monel

NECKLACE & EXTENSION Stock No. 74-N-300

official stocklist nomenclature, adopted 1943
description : length 40” (distance between 2 Tags = 1 ½”) - in 1942, the first tag is to be suspended on a necklace 25” in length, while the second tag is to be fixed to a separate necklace extension not further than 2 ½” under the first one - first models were in cotton, plastic, nylon, rayon, the official metal necklace was only introduced in 1943 (with hooks & catches) the bead type (initially sold at PXs) quickly became popular and gradually replaced the 1943 issue, it consisted of 2 lengths of stainless steel, of approximately respectively 28” and 6” in length, easy and practical for general use



Different manufacturers of Identification Tag Neck Chains for servicemen, sterling silver chains (L) and smooth transparent nylon necklace (R)
Click image to enlarge

Manufacturers of Identification Tag Necklaces, Napier Co., Meriden, Conn. (top)
manufacturers of stainless steel chains with hooks & catches

The Bead Chain Mfg. Co., Bridgeport, Conn. (bottom) manufacturers of bead type chains with coupling
Click image to enlarge
 

 


cellophane wrapper for official Necklace & Extension, supplier is Sweet Manufacturing Co., Attleboro, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Click image to enlarge

cellophane wrapper for Rayon Corded ID Tag Holder, rayon cord comes in different 'branch' colors (see envelope)
Click image to enlarge

INFORMATION

required data : name, serial number, date of tetanus inoculation, blood type, person to notify, religion; each Tag has enough capacity for 5 lines and provides 18 spaces per line; data are to be embossed by a special machine provided for that purpose

EVOLUTION

1st type December 1940 - November 1941
first line
second line
third line
fourth line
fifth line

first name of soldier, second initial, surname
army serial number blood type (space 17 or 18)
name next of kin
address, number, street, next of kin
address, city, state

CLARENCE R JONES
37337566         O
FRED JONES
2843 FEDERAL BL
DENVER COLO

note : first line (name of wearer) second line (Army Serial Number of wearer) third line (name of person to notify in case of emergency) fourth line (street address of person to notify in case of emergency) fifth line (city and state of person to notify in case of emergency)

2nd type November 1941- July 1943
first line
second line



third line
fourth line
fifth line

first name of soldier, second initial, surname
army serial number (8 first spaces) space 9 vacant
tetanus immunization (spaces 10 > 12)(space 13 vacant)
tetanus toxoid (spaces 14 > 15)(space 16 vacant)
blood type (space 17 or 18)
name next of kin
address, number, street, next of kin
address, city, state religion (space 18)

CLARENCE R JONES
37337566   T42   43   O



FRED JONES
2843 FEDERAL BL
DENVER COLO       P

note : in case more space is required, such as indication of blood type AB, prefix T (tetanus) may be dropped, and only numerals will be retained (blood types indicated by : A – B – AB – O)



ROBERT H REASONS
33263980 T42 A
G. H. REASONS
FLORENCE PA. P
second type - steel tag - silver necklace
(with hooks & catches)


JENNINGS D BANNER
17000575 T41 B
KATHLEEN E BANNER
214 E. 22ND. ST.
N. LITTLE ROCK, ARK. P
second type - monel tag -
fine cotton necklace


ALLEN N. LINDSAY
35499946 T42
GRACE LINDSAY
102 S. 39TH ST.
LOUISVILLE KY. P
second type - brass tag -
fine transparent nylon necklace
(note: irregular alignment, absence of blood type)

3rd type July 1943 - March 1944
first line
second line


fifth line

first name of soldier, second initial, surname
army serial number, tetanus immunization, tetanus toxoid
blood type

religion

CLARENCE R JONES
37337566 T42 43 O


                              P

note : address of next-of-kin eliminated July 20, 1943

DARYL E MARTIN
37476878 T43-43 O P
third type - stainless steel tag -
bead type necklace

4th type March 1944 - April 1946
first line
second line


fifth line

surname, first name, second initial
army serial number, tetanus immunization, tetanus toxoid
blood type

religion

JONES CLARENCE R
37337566 T42 43 O


                              P

note : name sequence of wearer modified March 31, 1944

FRANK, WOODROW W
37734891 T44 -45 O P
fourth type - steel tag -
steel necklace (with hooks & catches)


Special Dog Tags



WAC Dog Tags
TIPTON, THELMA
A-906681 T43 44 A P
fourth type - stainless steel tag -
bead type necklace
(WAC Enlisted Woman)


WAC Dog Tags
JANET P COLEMAN
L - 918042 T43 O P
third type - stainless steel tag -
bead type necklace
(WAC Officer)


WO Dog Tags
DONALD F MINNIS
W-2108945 T43-45 A C
third type - stainless steel tag -
bead type necklace
(Army Warrant Officer)




NURSE Dog Tags
PERCIVAL, FLORA A.
N743921 T42 43 O
MR. G. D. PERCIVAL
BOX 146
LUSK, WYO. P
fourth type - monel tag -
silver necklace (with hooks & catches)
(Army Nurse Corps)


FO Dog Tags
OLIVER RALPH A
T-6367 T42 A P
fourth type - stainless steel tag -
bead type necklace
(Army Air Corps Warrant Officer,
i.e Flight Officer)


ARMY SERIAL NUMBERS

Army Serial Numbers (ASN) are part of an official designation, and will appear in every military record, in which the name of the holder appears, i.e. in all documents – so, special care should be taken that the correct ASN be used at all times, since certain records are filed this way, and payments and/or allowances are often settled by Army Serial Number, and not by name – it is always used by servicemen, and, trust me, almost every Veteran still remembers his individual Army Serial Number …

 

Regular Army (1940)



National Guard (1940)


Draftees (1940)



Commissioned Officers (1921)


Warrant Officers (1942)




Flight Officers (1942)

Army Specialist Corps (1942)

Army Nurse Corps (1921)


Hospital Dietitian
Physical Therapist (1942)

Contract Surgeon (1941)

WAC (1943)

start with digit 1, followed by a second digit (indicating Corps Area/Service Cd) (there were 9 Corps Area for military administrative purposes, and 4 Army Areas for strategical military purposes) 11130295, 13176244, 14130598, 16087357, 19005129

start with digits 20, followed by a third digit (indicating Corps Area/Service Cd) 20417243, 20468791, 20651726, 20900697, 20906536

start with digit 3, followed by a second digit (indicating Corps Area/Service Cd) 31130734, 31240869, 34834714, 35388430, 39407665 (these were draftees called up the Selective Training & Service Act)

start with prefix O, followed by hyphen series of 1 > 6, even 7 digits (1921 box includes 1 to 99,999 - 1940 box starts with 23,000) O-57, O-742, O-3822, O-777657, O-1170276

start with prefix W, followed or not by hyphen series of 7 digits, starting with 21 such as W 2101199, W-2118310, W-2129700, W 2125908, W 2133860 (while most ID Tags start with first digits 21, other show different numbers, such as W-92186, W 901800, most probably Officers already commissioned between the war years, 1920-1930)

start with prefix T, followed by a series of digits T-80, T 1846, T-6367, T-136265, T 223076

start with prefix S, followed by a series of digits S 1038451

start with prefix N, followed by a series of 6 digits (box with group of 700.000) N 702927, N-782136, N 795100, N-795163

HD start with prefix R, while PT start with prefix M, followed by a series of digits R ……
M ……


start with prefix CS, followed by a series of digits CS......

start with prefix L (officer) L-918042, A (soldier) A-205333 and V (W.O.) V-704827, followed by a series of 6 digits, of which the first indicated the Service Cd

some examples of Army Serial Numbers connected with some ‘prominent’ WWII leaders

ASN O-1 John J. PERSHING (1860-1948)
ASN O-742 John L. DE WITT (1880-1962)
ASN O-2605 George S. PATTON Jr (1885-1945)
ASN O-3706 Carl A. SPAATZ (1891-1974)
ASN O-3822 Dwight D. EISENHOWER (1890-1969)
ASN O-8431 Maurice ROSE (1899-1945)
ASN OA-1 Oveta C. HOBBY (1905-1995)

ASN O-57 Douglas A. McARTHUR (1880-1964)
ASN O-1616 George C. MARSHALL (1880-1959)
ASN O-2686 Courtney H. HODGES (1887-1966)
ASN O-3807 Omar N. BRADLEY (1893-1981)
ASN O-5264 Matthew B. RIDGWAY (1895-1993)
ASN O-17676 James M. GAVIN (1907-1990)
USN 81 Alan G. KIRK (1888-1963)



Officers' Dog Tags : Some examples



ROBERT E. BUECHLER
O666236 T42 O
GEO F BUECHLER
2034 GANO AVE
ST LOUIS MO P
second type - monel tag -
bead type necklace


HARRY A RAIDER, JR
O-364889 T42 A
MRS. JOHN P WAGNER
1232 NO EDISON ST
MILWAUKEE WIS. P
second type - steel tag -
bead type necklace


HENRY E. KENDALL
O-917083 T42-43 B P
third type - steel tag -
bead type necklace




SHERMAN KAMENS
O-1108773 T42 43 AB H
third type - steel tag -
rayon necklace (with hooks)


RANNEY, WILLIS E.
O 237 049 T42-43 B C
fourth type - steel tag -
silver necklace (with hooks & catches)

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