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Pre-WWII Dog Tags

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (310 items)

    Recent postings of dog tags made me realize there’s some people here that have a lot of knowledge about them; So, I’ve decided to post the few in my collection and ask a couple questions.

    First pair is a WWI set, with string instead of chain, as was normal of that period. Both tags carry the same information, with name and USA on one side, and matching serial number on the other. The metal seems to be thick aluminum. Both also have an IXI scratched into them. Any idea what IXI would mean?

    Second pair is marked in the same way as the first, but made of what seems to be steel, and not shaped the same. This was one of those cases where a descendant of the original owner sold them to me along with other military mementos without that “sense of family” as we discussed in the other posts. Were these issued in a later period between the wars, or are they another variation issued about the same time as the first?

    The last tag is an orphan and I’ve posted shots of both sides of the same tag. I happen to be related to the original owner and know his service record. Besides the serial number, it says “Fort Lewis Wash.” and “M.D.” The owner served in the medical department at Ft. Lewis in the 1930s. The other side has his name. This makes me wonder if there was any standardization of dog tags prior to WWII, or did the garrison commander have discretion on what was stamped on the tags?

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    1. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 12 years ago
      Thanks Jason
    2. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 12 years ago
      Ooops, I ment Kevin.
    3. scottvez scottvez, 12 years ago
      Service numbers were first assigned in FEB/ MAR 1918 and the distribution was based on posts and units. For this reason, numbers assigned at this time (up to 2.38 million) can be traced to posts and units.

      After MAR 1918, numbers were assigned at recruiting or enlistment locations and can't be assigned to units.

      Since yours posted are 3 million +, I can't add much information.

      Your first one is definitely WW1 era.

      The other two look like post war and prior to WW2. The WW1 style dog tag was used until 1941.

      Thanks for posting,

    4. scottvez scottvez, 12 years ago
      The "new" dog tag was the M1940, which was issued in late 1941 and resembles a modern dog tag.

      There were probably some "old" soldiers who continued to wear the WW1 style dog tag into the first part of WW2.

    5. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 12 years ago
      Thanks Scott
    6. rfs1920, 12 years ago
      Mr. Chrispn, I've found 5-6 aluminum disk ID tags and each has a slightly different format of identifying info. Since they were all found in the same location, I figured it was the perogative of whoever was using the stamping tools to decide what was included and where.

      And I'd like to thank you for the info regarding the enlisted cap insignia piece I found. After you told me it was one part of a two piece badge, I went back into the boxes of stuff I've dug up and located a brass base piece. I've put the two pieces together in the display case and it looks great.

    7. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 12 years ago
      Glad I was able to be of help.


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