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Possible POW ID tag

Article about: Hi guys I've had this posted up in the archaeology forum but haven't had much joy with identifying it in there so thought i'd post it here. The below item was 2 seconds off going in the bin

  1. #1

    Default Possible POW ID tag

    Hi guys

    I've had this posted up in the archaeology forum but haven't had much joy with identifying it in there so thought i'd post it here.

    The below item was 2 seconds off going in the bin when I noticed a 'B' stamped in the metal (it was folded in half and covered in mud......I thought it was a heap of crap). I got it inside, unfolded it as much as I dare without snapping it in half and this is what I found under all the mud.

    Now, I realise it may NOT be German but I do know that there were German POWs on the site.

    Does anyone recognise it as a German relic ? It's certainly NOT an ID tag but maybe a tag off a kit bag or such like.

    Any help on the numbers would also be helpful.

    By the way, it was found on an old WW2 USAAF airbase in an area where I know German POWS were kept at the end of the war HOWEVER ! I realise it may actually be an American ID tag of some sort.


    Steve T
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Possible POW ID tag

    i've never even seen a pow tag for a german. that's got me thinking about trying to dig up some stuff in my area. In Winston Salem, NC POW's were being held right out side of downtown during the war.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Possible POW ID tag

    I'd guess it's some kind of label too- although that would seem a little strange for a German POW to have; and does seem somewhat unlikely this would have been a US serviceman- although there were more ethnic Germans, I think, in the US than any other nationality, surely during the war a man would call himself Joseph not Josef.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  5. #4

    Default Re: Possible POW ID tag

    Cheers guys

    I have checked the list of USAAF service personnel that ever entered the base I found this on and found no match. Not even anything close.

    My guess is it is from a POW, but possibly from after the war and prior to repatriation, (I know the camp was used up until 1947 when the last German POW was eventually repatriated). Maybe it was attached to his kit bag and the numbers were his flight details ???

    Oh, and just in case you're thinking the same as me......that code is from a USAAF aircraft and can be traced.....but it is from a Norseman and none were ever stationed at my base.

    I'll find out what the damn thing is one day I am sure !

    Steve T

  6. #5

    Default Re: Possible POW ID tag

    I can say the number is too high to be anything belonging to the German ID the man might have had- and the 8WG makes no sense either, so I'd expect these must be US codes/ roster numbers or some such thing. Could be 8th Work Group or some such thing... a US expert might be of help as the codes certainly don't refer to anything German.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  7. #6

    Default Re: Possible POW ID tag

    Yeah.....I strongly suspect this wasa POW number rather than a service number to be honest.

    8 WG could well be working group......many POWs were sent out to the local farms etc to lend a hand.

    Trouble is, if it is a POW number I am very unlikely to ever be able to track it down. The British records are almost non-existent nowadays.

    A damn shame really....I'd have loved to have tracked his relatives down or even him !

    Steve T

  8. #7

    Default Re: Possible POW ID tag

    Indeed it would be interesting and it's too bad for sure. I've seen some actual POW tags- Allied service types just stamped for German prisoners- and they did have a prisoner number since, of course, their German ID wouldn't make any sense nor would be appropriate I should think. There's no doubt that this is the case here as no German soldier ever had a 5-digit roster number, and even if he did, the number would be meaningless to Allied forces since they only worked with the German unit records- a thousand men could have the same number since each small unit had its own roster.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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