Tuesday, February 9, 2016

1 May 1945 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.

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.

This is a copy of a letter from the Quartermaster's office to my great-grandfather letting him know to be expecting a package of my great-uncle's personal effects.


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