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dog tags?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by fikey, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. fikey

    fikey recruit

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    i was wondering if someone can shed some light on a discussion i was having with a friend. my uncle was killed in 1945 in iwo jima. i carry his dog tag with me and it is an oval tag from the u.s.m.c.. a friend has her fathers dog tag from the army and it is square and has a notch cut in it (supposedly to stick in the teeth should you be killed in action). my question is: did different branches issue different dog tags and is the notch in the army one truely for the above purpose?
     
  2. Miller

    Miller Member

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    The oval dogtag was an old Marine Corps tradition unique to that branch until a bunch of government fools decided it would be more productive to make all dogtags the same for every branch of the US Military. Now all the branches have the same rectangular tag.

    As for the notch, it is just a small gap left there after the tag is clamped off of a bigger piece of metal during production. The teeth myth sounds a lot cooler though doesn't it?
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The teeth idea was a myth.

    The notch was a guide for the tag to fit in the lettering machine correctly.

    According to Mortuary Affairs (formerly Graves Registration):
    One of the more common myths involves the reason for the notch on the tag issued between 1941 and the early 1970's. Battlefield rumor held that the notched end of the tag was placed between the front teeth of battlefield casualties to hold the jaws in place. No official record of American soldiers being issued these instructions exists; the only purpose of "the notch" was to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine. The machine used at this time doesn't require a notch to hold the blank in place, hence, today's tags are smooth on all sides.
     
  4. David Layne

    David Layne Member

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    Here's my Dad's R.A.F. dog tags from ww2. One is made from fire resistant material the other from liquid resistant material.
     

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  5. barrow

    barrow Member

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    yeah interesting them tags mate never would of guessed they were dog tags after watchin all the films rectangle metal tags seem the norm
     
  6. nigelgatherer

    nigelgatherer recruit

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    Thanks, David. I have just been given my late father's dog tags, and they're almost identical. I had wondered about them, and I'm fascinated by your assertion that one is water-resistant, the othrer fire-resistant. Amazing.

    The circular one also has my Dad's blood type stamped on it. Anyway. I'm very pleased to have found some answers to what's been puzzling me.
     
  7. Proudofdad

    Proudofdad Member

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    Can you get replacement dog tags? I know you can get medals.
     
  8. Proudofdad

    Proudofdad Member

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    I have found some.
     
  9. mike1060_1

    mike1060_1 recruit

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    hi i am new to this forum ,
    does anyone know who or why a type of plastic neck cord was used on some american 2ww dog tags
    thanks in advance mike
     
  10. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The notch is there for a reason. It was put in the tag so that it could only be loaded in the type machine that printed the information in one specific way. That is the only reason for it.

    https://www.armydogtags.com/a_PurposeNotch.php
     

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