I have the Office of the Quartermaster General (OQMG) Form 623, “Application for Headstone or Marker”, of my relative who died on Iwo Jima during WWII. The application contained helpful information but I noticed the information written in the Discharge Date block, “Killed in Action – March 4, 1945”, conflicts with the information on the list of Marine Corps Casualties from the Naval History Homepage. Naval History records compiled from USMC Casualty Cards indicate my relative “Died of Wounds – March 1, 1945”. In order to clear up any discrepancy and clarify how my relative died, I will be requesting my relative’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) and Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. As I wait for the NPRC to begin accepting non-emergency requests, I thought I would post a few questions on History Hub to help me better understand the significance of information contained on the Application for Headstone or Marker, which in turn might also aid my research.
Four of the blocks of information on the application, (Name, Serial Number, Rank, U.S. Regiment) contain typed information. The remainder of the blocks on the form contained hand-written responses completed by my Great Grandfather. Would my Great Grandfather have received the application with the four blocks of information “pre-typed”? How did next-of-kin typically receive the form? By mail? In person? Finally, adjacent to much of the information in each block of the application are check marks made with a green pencil. Along the left margin of the application is the handwritten note “USMC rept dtd 18/Nov/47 of 293 files”, also made with a green pencil. Am I correct in assuming these marks and note are made by someone in the OQMG tasked with verifying the information on the application during the approval process for the headstone? I think this is important because the information that my Great Grandfather wrote in the Discharge Date block has no green check mark. Why wouldn’t the OQMG verify the date of death, as this is one of the most important pieces of information needed for a headstone?