1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 21, 2021 11:41 AM by Eric Kilgore

    Need Help Understanding Information on Application for Headstone/Marker

    Joseph Kennedy Newbie

      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?

      Edward Martin Application for Headstone or Marker

        • Re: Need Help Understanding Information on Application for Headstone/Marker
          Eric Kilgore Adventurer

          Dear Joseph Kennedy,


          Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!


          You're definitely on the right track by requesting the OMPF and IDPF of your relative.  You are correct in that the typed sections were filled out by the coordinating office.  Most correspondence like this was sent and returned through the post office.  However, it is possible that Headstone Applications could have also involved the cemetery.  The check marks are a common occurrence in records such as this and was standard practice for verifying that information had been checked prior to submission of an application or a final draft of a notice. You'll see a lot of this in the OMPF.   As far as there not being a check mark in the "Discharge" box, that's most likely because that information was not applicable since he wasn't discharged.  As far as the date of death, there may have been a discrepancy between the date in which he was killed and when it was verified.  This isn't uncommon and the IDPF generally clears that up and serves as the official date in which a Marine was KIA.  The IDPF, along with the Other information (which should be included in the OMPF) would have been used to verify all of this prior to the headstone being made. 


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