Trying to ID Unit
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  1. #1

    Question Trying to ID Unit

    I have been given some letters from an uncle who served in World War II. The return address on some of the letters is: 29th Repl. Dft, C/O S.F., Calif. The mail originated on Okinawa in April 1945.

    Does anyone know what division that unit may have been assigned to and what the abbreviation stands for?

    Some of his mail a couple of weeks later shows he was with 1st Marine Division.

    I also have a photo of him that says he was with the 6th Division.

    Mike


  2. #2
    Could be 29th Replacement Draft, Care Of San Francisco California, Doesn't look like any Division was in the return address.


  3. #3
    Thanks. Do you know what kind of unit it would be?

    When I first read it I thought it possibly said 29th Repl Dpt but it definitely reads "Dft."

    My uncle was a T. Sgt according to his address.

    Mike


  4. #4
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    Marine Corps Historical Center

    You may want to try the Marine Corps Historical Center:

    http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Ge..._Navy_Yard.htm

    WRITTEN REQUESTS: Researchers may write to the Reference Section with requests for historical information. The address is:

    Reference Section
    Marine Corps Historical Center
    1254 Charles Morris Street, S.E
    Building 58,
    Washington Navy Yard , D.C. 20374-5040

    Please note that staff limitations preclude this office from conducting extensive research or doing extensive copying for individuals.

    TELEPHONE REQUESTS: The Reference Section will respond to telephone requests if information is readily available. The telephone number is: 202-433-3483.

    OTHER REQUESTS: Reference Section staff is unable to respond to e-mail queries at this time.

    http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Co....htm#Reference


  5. #5
    Thanks, John

    I have contacted them on other questions and thought that I would throw this one out to the real experts here on the list.

    My uncle was an old timer by standards. He graduated from high school in 1923 and went into the Marine Corps in 1942.

    The few letters I have are interesting. One contained 3 military currency notes: a 10 sen, a 1 yen and a 5 yen. They are like new and probably haven't been out of that envelope in 50+ years.

    One of the letters was V-Mail and another was on a Japanese variety of post card complete with Japanese postage markings.

    Mike


  6. #6
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    ...I figured you probably had been down that route; thought I would throw it out there just in case... Hope the book/article is coming along; I look forward to reading it. Besides, I figured it would not hurt to throw a cue out there for anyone else doing a little research.


  7. #7
    Can I e-mail you the short essay I've written on my Boxer Rebellion Marine? (that one is not about my uncle). I am still researching but I keep writing to keep my thoughts together.

    I'm researching my uncle just for family information and to put a suitable remembrance on the WWII Memorial Registry.

    Mike


  8. #8
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    covan-
    I'm sorry that I can't help you in regards to your Uncle. I was born in June of '45. Do you know if your Uncle served in the Korean War (Police Action)? Maybe you can trace backwards.
    By the way, there is a book written about Covans in the Broward County Library System. If you would like I can get you some information on it.
    Good luck on your book.
    Gary(osotogary)


  9. #9
    Thanks for the reply, Gary.

    He didn't serve in Korea. He died in 1964.

    covan is just a handle. It means "advisor" in Vietnamese. That's what I was. Probably shouldn't admit this on a Marine list, but I was US Army

    I'm not really writing a book. I've been doing research on a Spanish-American War/Boxer Rebellion Marine who is the only man from my hometown to be awarded the CMH. I want to get him some long over due recognition. I have put it into an essay at this point just for documentation purposes and hopes of doing some fundraising for a grave marker and a suitable memorial.

    Mike


  10. #10

    29th Repl Dft

    29th Repl. Dft, C/O S.F., Calif. The mail originated on Okinawa in April 1945.

    From the abbreviations, it appears that your uncle went overseas with the 29th Replacement Draft. His mail may have been funneled through a Marine administrative unit at 100 Hunter-Harrison Stree in San Francisco for censoring. Once on Okinawa, he was assigned to either the 1st or 6th Marine Division. Perhaps the postal set-up was that one of the divisions ran the post office, thus the post mark of one division while he was in another.

    PS - During the Korean War the Marine Corps also sent replacements via the draft system. I went to Korea with the 32nd Replacement Draft. After arriving in Korea the draft was split up among the various regiments in the 1st Marine Division. The dfafts began in 1950 with, logically, the 1st Draft and ended in 1954 or 1955 well up into the high 40s or low 50s.


  11. #11
    Hi dibob,

    Thanks for your reply and your information. That's interesting information about the Korean War replacement system, too. I had never of heard of a unit called the "Replacement Draft."

    I don't know that he had been drafted. In 1942 or thereafter were they drafting 42 year old's because that's how old he was when he went in? He must have been the "Old Man" in his outfit. I have a formal photo of him that I posted on the WWII Memorial website and he was a good looking guy in his uniform.

    Mike


  12. #12
    No, Coven, you don't understand. The fact that a Marine was in a replacement draft did not mean he was drafted. It means that a group of Marines were picked to be replacements for units that had had casualties or losses through other means. There is no unit called "Replacement Draft," per se. A replacement draft is a group of Marines headed to a unit overseas.

    D.I. Bob


  13. #13
    Thanks for clarifying that for me. I understand now.

    Mike


  14. #14
    Coven, you struck an interest in me about;
    Quote
    I'm not really writing a book. I've been doing research on a Spanish-American War/Boxer Rebellion Marine who is the only man from my hometown to be awarded the CMH. I want to get him some long over due recognition. I have put it into an essay at this point just for documentation purposes and hopes of doing some fundraising for a grave marker and a suitable memorial.
    unquote

    Here is a list of Medal of Honor recipents from the China Relief (Boxer Rebellion) and the Spanish-American War;

    MEDALS OF HONOR EARNED DURING CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION (BOXER REBELLION)

    CAMPBELL, ALBERT RALPH

    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 8 April 1875, Williamsport, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action at Tientsin, China, 21 June 1900. During the advance on Tientsin, Campbell distinguished himself by his conduct.

    *FISHER, HARRY

    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 20 October 1874, McKeesport, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: Served in the presence of the enemy at the battle of Peking, China, 20 June to 16 July 1900. Assisting in the erection of barricades during the action, Fisher was killed by the heavy fire of the enemy.

    FOLEY, ALEXANDER JOSEPH

    Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 19 February 1866, Heckersville, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy in the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Foley distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

    FRANCIS, CHARLES ROBERT

    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 19 May 1875, Doylestown, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 21 June 1900, Francis distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

    HORTON, WILLIAM CHARLIE

    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Peking, China, 21 July to 17 August 1900. Entered service at: Pennsylvania. Born: 21 July 1876, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In action against the enemy at Peking, China, 21 July to 17 August 1900. Although under heavy fire from the enemy, Horton assisted in the erection of barricades.

    MATHIAS, CLARENCE EDWARD

    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 12 December 1876, Royalton, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the advance on Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Mathias distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.


    MEDALS OF HONOR EARNED DURING SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

    MAcNEAL, HARRY LEWIS

    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 22 March 1875, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 526, 9 August 1899. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during action at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, 3 July 1898. Braving the fire of the enemy, MacNeal displayed gallantry throughout this action.

    QUICK, JOHN HENRY

    Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 20 June 1870, Charleston, W. Va. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 504 13 December 1898. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. Citation: In action during the battle of Cuzco, Cuba, 14 June 1898. Distinguishing himself during this action, Quick signaled the U.S.S. Dolphin on 3 different occasions while exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy.

    So your Marine has to be one of these.
    Now the question;
    Which one of these Marines?

    My first though was Sgt. John Henry Quick USMC, than on more research found that he wasn't part of the China Relief.
    So your Marine must be among those left.

    Semper Fidelis
    Ricardo


  15. #15

    Talking

    While searching, I came on these "Old Corps" Marines;


    Private Al Barker, 43rd Company, 5th Regiment, USMC


    Sgt. Harry W. Hellweg, Drill Instructor, USMC

    Here too there numbers for the Marine companies of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments.

    When they changed to letters than when I believe it became "New Corps"
    IMHO

    Semper Fidelis
    Ricardo

    PS Love that photo of that Drill Instructor from PI in 1918, I believe.


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