1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 13, 2020 2:50 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records that show father took down last U.S. flag in China

    Debra Scouten Newbie

      My father served in the Pacific, namely in Japan, China and Guam in 1946 and 1947.  His only story about his military service was that he was the person who took down the last U.S. flag in China.  I am trying to confirm that story.  I have his NARA military records, but some pieces of his service seem to be missing.  Below are the dates that I have. Served in China from August 23, 1946 thru May 1947.  His records maintain that he was transferred on to Truck Co. H&S BN 7th service regiment Tientsin, China.  (however, the military did not ultimately leave China until September, 1947). He then moved from the port of Chin Wang Tao, China to Guam on the USS Skagit on May 20, 1947. He had emergency leave from July 21 thru August 5, 1947.  Did he go back to Guam?  or to China?  His military records do not have this information.  I have searched Google for any information about the 1st Division or his unit and can not find any details that might corroborate his story. He was sent home in Feb. 1948 due to family dependency.


        • Re: Seeking records that show father took down last U.S. flag in China
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Ms. Scouten,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Muster Rolls and Personnel Diaries, 1/1941 - 12/1980 in the Records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127) that may be useful in identifying which units your father was assigned to. We also located Records of Ground Combat Units, Support Units and Other Commands, 1939 - 1950 in Record Group 127 that may include his unit records for this time period, although post-war unit records are are incomplete due to a lack of compliance in filing reports, and it is difficult to say if a flag detail would have been recorded in the records. For more information about these records, please contact National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          In terms of the last American flag, this may have been simply a reference to the last flag of his own unit rather than the absolute last flag. There were Marine units in mainland China through 1948 or 1949. Also the American embassy was located on mainland China until 1949 and an American consulate was in Shanghai until 1950. With the restoration of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s, American flags have resumed flying over American diplomatic posts.


          The U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958 are searchable on Ancestry with a paid Ancestry subscription. Some libraries offer free access to Ancestry to their patrons.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


          [Information provide in part by Nate Patch, Subject Matter Expert]