Friday, December 4, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my aunt taken in the 1960s outside of her home in New Castle, Delaware.  It looks like she may have been getting ready to go to a dance.

Diane Odgers
(1951 - 2002)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Order for Shipment

My great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

The job of the Effects Quartermaster was to receive and safeguard thousands of' packages of personal property until they could be returned to the owner or forwarded to the Army Effects Bureau for disposition.  When a soldier became a casualty (either deceased, hospitalized, captured, interned, or missing), his unit commander collected all personal property, inventoried it, removed government property, and forwarded all the personal items to Q-290, marked with the owner's identification and status.  If the owner was deceased, the property was documented and forwarded immediately to Army Effects Bureau for transmission to the next of kin.

The detail involved in receiving, storing, safeguarding, and shipping personal property was immense.  Each package was handled separately in order that the name, status, and other pertinent data would be correctly recorded.

These are two different copies of an Order for Shipment that details my great-uncle's personal property that shipped to my great-grandparents.  There was one package that contained a water-soaked, moldy and rusty bag.  The personal items included a broken rosary and $4.07.









Monday, November 23, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandparents taken in 1963 in New Jersey.

Kathryn Bunting Branyan (1915 - 1998)
Paul Branyan, Sr. (1917 - 1986)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Battle Casualty Report

My great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.

This is a copy of the Battle Casualty report that was filed for my great-uncle.  It listed my great-grandmother as the Emergency Addressee.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal great-grandfather taken on Christmas Day 1971.  He is opening presents in his eldest daughter's living room in Wilmington Manor, Delaware.  He was 75 years old.

Hayward LeGates
1896 - 1978

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Report of Interment

My great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.

These are two copies of the same form, filed on different dates.  According to these forms my great-uncle's grave was marked with a cross and identification tags were buried with his body and attached to the grave marker.  On the form that was filed on 27 January 1945, it mentions a personal letter dated 17 March 1945.  Was this used as a form of identification?  Who wrote the letter?  On that same form, 23 July 1944 was used as the date of death and then corrected to 22 July 1944.  The forms  state the names of the two soldiers buried beside him.  On his right in grave number 11, James W. Beatty, and on his left in grave number 9, George Daniels.  The personal effects that were found on my great-uncle's body were two keys, one billfold, miscellaneous papers, and $4.07 (about $55.05 today).





Thursday, November 12, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my great-grandmother taken outside of her home in Trenton, New Jersey in 1942.  She would have been about 53 years old.

Margaret McCartan Bunting

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Report of Death

During World War II, my great-uncle's division left Oahu and arrived in Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands by 1 July 1944.  He moved from Eniwetok on 18 July, aboard the transports of the Southern Attack Force, to arrive off Guam the morning of 21 July.  During his travels he was probably given last minute instructions and gave his weapon a last check as he prepared to disembark.

The battle began in the early morning hours of 21 July.  My great-uncle's division was called in for support that night and he was killed in the battle the following day.

In his Individual Personnel Death File (IPDF) there were three different Report of Death forms.  They all include basically the same information, but were filed on different dates.




Saturday, November 7, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my aunt (age 14) and my uncle (age 10) taken at a beach in Delaware in the summer of 1965.

Diane Odgers (1951 - 2002)
James Odgers (1954 - 2007)

Friday, November 6, 2015

29 October 1946 Letter

My great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.

This is a letter from the Quarter Master General's office informing my great-grandparents they would be receiving information at a later date regarding the final interment of my great-uncle.  It makes me wonder if this was the first time my great-grandparents learned of where their son had been interred after he was killed in action.



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandmother taken in 1937 next to her home in Trenton, New Jersey.  She was 22 years old.

Kathryn Bunting
1915-1998

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2 December 1946 Letter

My great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.

This is a letter my great-grandparents sent to the Quartermaster General's office. asking their options in regards to having my great-uncle buried in a Federal cemetery or in their family lot.  Again, I noticed that my great-grandmother's name is spelled with and E at the end.  I am thinking that this is a typo and that is why my great-grandmother only used her first initial.





Saturday, October 17, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my aunt taken on 18 April 1965, Easter.  She is standing and holding a bible outside of her home next to all of the spring flowers in New Castle, Delaware.  She was 14 years old.

Diane Odgers
(1951 - 2002)

Friday, October 16, 2015

13 December 1946 Letter

My great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.

This is a letter from the Quartermaster General's Office to my great-grandparents asking them for their wishes in regards to my great-uncle's remains.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my great-aunt and my maternal grandmother, sisters.  It was probably taken in the late 1970s.

Laura Bunting Otarzewski Szul (1921-1994)
Kathryn Bunting Branyan (1915-1998)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

30 January 1947 Letter

My maternal great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.

This is a letter my great-grandparents sent to the Quartermaster General's office.  One thing I find interesting is that my great-grandmother signed an E at the end of her first name.  Was that a mistake or was it a typo and she HAD to sign her name that way?



Monday, October 12, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal grandfather taken in 1965 doing one of the things he loved most at a beach in Delaware.  He was 47 years old.

William Odgers, Sr.
1918-1986

Sunday, October 11, 2015

18 February 1947 Letter from the Memorial Division of the Quartermaster General

My maternal great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II, the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental limits of the United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.  This is the letter my great-grandparents received from the Memorial Division of the Quartermaster General.



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal great-grandmother taken outside of her home in Trenton, New Jersey in 1943.  She would have been about 54 years old.

Margaret McCartan Bunting
(1889 - 1956)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

29 April 1947 Letter from the Memorial Division

My maternal great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.  This is the letter my great-grandparents received from the chief of the Memorial Division.  A photo of the cemetery in Guam was enclosed with this letter.



My great-grandparents chose to have my great-uncle's remains brought home to New Jersey to be buried in the Beverly National Cemetery.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my paternal great-aunt and her husband posing before they went out for New Year's Eve 1963.  This was taken in my grandparents' living room in New Castle, Delaware.  She was 42 and he was 41 years old.

Louise Odgers Ellis (1921-2008)
Robert Ellis (1922-2008)
  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of  my paternal grandmother and her younger sister.  It was probably taken in the early 1940s outside their home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Ellen Legates (1924 - 1970)
Kathlyene LeGates (1927 - 2008)


1 July 1947 Letter from the Quartermaster General

My maternal great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental limits of the United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home.  This is the letter my great-grandparents received from the Quartermaster General.



Below is the link to the Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead pamphlet that was included with the letter.

My great-grandparents chose to have my great-uncle's remains brought home to New Jersey to be buried in the Beverly National Cemetery.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Request for Disposition of Remains

My maternal great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental limits of the United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home. My great-grandparents chose to have my great-uncle's remains brought home to New Jersey.

This is the Request for Disposition of Remains signed by my great-grandfather asking that my great-uncle be returned to the United States for final interment in the Beverly National Cemetery.






Sunday, September 20, 2015

Skeletal Chart

My maternal great-uncle was killed in action during World War II on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental limits of the United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home. My great-grandparents chose to have my great-uncle's remains brought home to New Jersey. A Disinterment Directive was completed on 15 October 1947 and the process to bring his remains home and laid to rest in the Beverly National Cemetery had begun.

This chart was used to document the condition of my great-uncle's bones once he was disinterred.



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandmother taken in 1936.  She was 21 years old.

Kathryn Bunting
1915-1998

Monday, September 7, 2015

Identification Dental Chart

My maternal great-uncle died on 22 July 1944 in battle during World War II.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.  He was disinterred on 28 November 1947.  These dental charts were used to identify his body.






Friday, September 4, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandmother.  It was taken in 1935 when she was 19 years old.

Kathryn Bunting
1915 - 1998

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Authorized Inscription for a Government Headstone

But if he finds his . . . ancestor's name and position in full therein inscribed he will be satisfied that a grateful country had done due honor to the soldier whose sacrifice is one of the proud recollections of his family history.  — General Meigs, Memorandum, Quartermaster General's Office, February 8, 1873 

The basic information on a Government headstone application for World War II casualties included the name of the veteran, rank, company, regiment or vessel, date of death, the name and location of the cemetery, and the date of application.  The information was supplied by the Superintendent or Commanding Officer and the next of kin.  After receiving a completed application, the quartermaster clerks would verify the information on the applications.  Pencil marks are often found where clerks made clarifications regarding details of service.

A Government-issued headstone included the State from which the veteran came, a religious emblem in a small circle above the inscription on the face of the headstone; and the dates of birth and death.

This application was for my maternal great-uncle who was killed in battle on 22 July 1944.  The application was filed in 1948 because that is when his body was shipped home for burial at my great-grandparents' request.





Sunday, August 23, 2015

Remains on the USAT Walter W. Schwenk

My maternal great-uncle died on 22 July 1944.  He was buried in an individual grave, uncasketed and in a poncho, in Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 10.  He was disinterred on 28 November 1947 and his skeletal remains were placed in a casket on 19 January 1948.


On 11 February 1948 his remains were placed on a truck and left the U.S. Mausoleum on the island of Saipan.  Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean.  Two days later his remains arrived at the Port of Saipan.

On 26 February 1948, he departed Saipan aboard the United States Army Transport Walter W. Schwenk.  His remains arrived at Fort Mason in San Francisco on 23 March 1948.  He then traveled by rail to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, arriving on 31 March 1948.


On 10 April 1948 William Bunting arrived at his final resting place, the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.

This is a list dated 19 March 1948 of the World War II deceased that were transported on the Walter W. Schwenk and arrived at the Beverly National Cemetery for burial.



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal great-grandfather.  It was taken outside of his home on Stuyvesant Avenue in Trenton, New Jersey, probably in the 1930s.
Albert Bunting
(1888-1956)


Thursday, August 20, 2015

MESSAGEFORM

During and after World War II the Graves Registration Service was responsible for the identification and proper burial of American servicemen who died overseas. Policies governing this work were set by The Quartermaster General. The service was responsible for the identification and burial of all Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives as the result of service outside the continental limits of the United States. The American Graves Registration Service took charge of the remains and cemeteries.

After World War II, the U.S. Graves Registration Service began contacting the families of those who died overseas, giving them the option of having their soldier buried in a U.S. cemetery overseas or brought home. My maternal great-grandparents chose to have my great-uncle's remains brought home to New Jersey. A Disinterment Directive was completed on 15 October 1947 and the process to bring his remains home and laid to rest in the Beverly National Cemetery had begun.

My great-grandparents chose to have military funeral services done by a Catholic chaplain at the Beverly National Cemetery for my great-uncle.






























Monday, August 3, 2015

One Photo Makes You Dig A Little Deeper

This is a photo of my grand aunt.  It was found among some pictures that my uncle had taken.  When I looked at it, I realized how very little I knew about her, and I got curious.  How much can you really learn from one picture?
Louise Odgers Ellis
First, I looked at where she was standing.  It was an unfamiliar kitchen to me, but I know it is in her home.  That led me to ask, "Where was her home?"  I started by looking in my uncle's old address book.  I was surprised to see she lived in the same zip code as I do.  Next, I looked her address up on Google Maps.  Her home was less than 10 minutes from where I live.
The photo was taken on 1 June 1978, my grandfather's 60th birthday.  She is holding a bowl of food, so I believe she must have been having a dinner for my grandfather's birthday.
I knew she was born in 1921, but not her actual birthdate.  And I was unsure of the year she died, but I knew it was within the last 10 years.  I looked on my FindAGrave app, put in her name, birth year, and the country and state of where I thought she was buried.  And just like that I now know her birth date and death date, as well as in which cemetery she is.
One picture led to many answers.  It makes me want to keep digging!

Accrued Pension Form of 13 September 1909

This Accrued Pension Form is found in the Civil War Pension File of my paternal third great-grandfather.  My third great-grandmother filed t...