Thursday, November 11, 2010

Military Dog Tags

This Veterans Day I thought I would share with you a collection that is very dear to me.  Since I was a young girl I have collected military dog tags...though not intentionally.  I mean to say that I don't search them out on Ebay or put classified ads in the paper soliciting them.  But when I come across them in I always pick them up because these little scraps of metal represent something profoundly emotional.  They represent the life of a soldier and if only they could talk and tell us where they have been and what they have seen and who the man was who wore them.

I found my first dog tag when I was twelve.  I was perusing the displays at an antique store and was intrigued by the silver necklace in the jewelry case.

The US Army dog tags of Roger E. Constant

The dog tags of Tommy J. Decker

I found my next dog tag as a thirteen year old in an antique shop in Bisbee, Arizona.  I was on a road trip with my parents and we were on our way back to California from the Copper Canyon in Mexico and stopped off in Tombstone, Arizona for my to get my fix of a Sasparilla at the Longhorn Saloon.  We made a quick stop off at a junk shop in nearby Bisbee and I found this dog tag in a case right by the cash register.  My dad bought it for me for $19.

Years later I did some research and I was able to find an army record for a Tommy J. Decker that was born in Oklahoma and enlisted in World War II...this is

Name:Tommy J Decker
Birth Year:1926
Race:White, Citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country:Oklahoma
State of Residence:Alabama
County or City:Mobile
Enlistment Date:20 Feb 1945
Enlistment State:Alabama
Enlistment City:Fort McClellan
Branch:No branch assignment
Branch Code:No branch assignment
Grade Code:Private
Term of Enlistment:Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law

I am not certain if this is the same soldier but this dog tag is definitely a World War II era one and I have not been able to find any other Tommy J. Deckers with World War II service records.

The dog tags of Wilmar O. Anderson

The dog tags of Robert I. Goff

The dog tags of Eugene J. Loots

I found the battered dog tag of William H. Taylor as a seventeen year old, walking around the Pomona Fairplex at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show.  It was at the bottom of a bin of military antiques that I was digging through and I saw the light from the flourescent lights overhead reflect off it surface.  I reached for the source of the light and clasped the cold little strip of metal and ran my finger across the lettering.  I held it up close to my face to get a better look at it and read the name on the tag..." William H. Taylor."
The dog tags of William H. Taylor

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love this post! What a wonderful collection.