2 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2020 7:59 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking owner of canteen


      I recently received a Marine Canteen that was discovered by a Marine while on a return trip to Iwo Jima many years ago. On the bottom of the canteen in faint pencil appear to be the numbers 957051, which could possibly be the original owner’s Service Number. I would love to get a name and other information that is available to potentially attach to this canteen Thank you for any help!

        • Re: Seeking owner of canteen
          Alice Lane Ranger

          Hi Joshua,


          Service numbers were used by the United States Armed Forces as the primary means of service member identification from 1918 until 1974. Service numbers are public information available under the Freedom of Information Act, unlike social security numbers which are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974.[1]


          Go to this web page for more information.


          Good Luck in your search,


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          • Re: Seeking owner of canteen
            Jason Atkinson Guide

            Dear Mr. Frisbie,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            Military records in our custody do not include the record of assignment and operational activity of individual pieces of equipment, including canteens.  Under normal records management procedures, such documentation would be destroyed after initial administrative use


            If the number on the canteen is a service number, the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL) may be able to assist you with linking the number to a name. Please email them at stl.archives@nara.gov for more information.


            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 RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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

            1 person found this helpful