Grandfather's Dog Tags (WWII)
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  1. #1

    Grandfather's Dog Tags (WWII)

    I'm holding my grandfather's tags, and I was hoping someone here could help me decipher them. This is what they look like:

    J.B. JR
    T . 5/43

    The XXXXXX is a 6 digit number. I'm not sure if that is just a service number, or if it has some other significance. Also, is the "P" for protestant? For burial services? Or is there some other designation it stands for? Finally, I don't know what the T. 5/43 stands for. Month and year he enlisted?

  2. #2
    Marine Free Member Apache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Westchester OH
    Six digit number certainly a service number
    Mine is seven digits ( Vietnam era)
    P my best guess is religion
    T --I don't know
    5/43 sounds like month/year enlisted

  3. #3
    T 5/43 is tetanus shot date

  4. #4
    Shot card on the dogtag,,,,???

    Who'da thunk it

  5. #5
    "P" does, in fact stand for "Protestant." During WW-II the regulations provided for three religious preference possibilities:

    C = Catholic
    H = Hebrew
    P = Protestant

    If a Marine had no religious preference, this area on the tag was simply left blank.

    Dan is also correct about the Tetanus shot date. This was either abbreviated as "T" or "TET" followed by the month and year of the last Tetanus shot.

  6. #6
    Gunstream: Here's an article I wrote for a friend who makes authentic WW-II era USMC dog tag reproductions. It details the history and the meanings of each of the lines:

  7. #7
    My tags have a "P" for Protestant.

  8. #8
    Thanks Marines for all the answers. This was exactly what I was looking for, particularly the website about WWII tags. I'll inform my grandmother (his wife) what you've explained to me.

  9. #9
    Does it have a fingerprint on the back? Some did, but by about 43/44 they stopped doing that. has the complete muster rolls of ALL Marines on line and searchable, you might want to take a look. Well worth the time.

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