IRP team recovers WWII dog tag

Posted on Jul 19 2022


File photo shows William Conrad Stoll Jr. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

A military identification tag—commonly referred to as a “dog tag”—that was lost on Saipan during World War II has been found and will be returned to the descendants of its original owner.

The Infrastructure and Recovery Program under the CNMI Office of the Governor announced yesterday the recovery of the World War II dog tag by the IRP archeological team during archeological testing work in San Jose in advance of the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.-funded sewer and drainage project.

In April 2022, IRP archaeologists Jeremy Freeman and Scott Bierly and anthropologist Keona DLG Torres recovered a suspected military identification tag—or “dog tag”—while undertaking subsurface testing on the southwest coast of Saipan in advance of the NMHC sewer line and drainage project. The artifact was recovered in screened soil excavated from a backhoe trench located on the western edge of Apengagh Avenue, roughly 55 meters southwest of the Catholic Church in San Jose Village, Saipan.

Background research conducted by IRP staff revealed that the tag belonged to William Conrad Stoll Jr., who was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and participated in the World War II Battle of Saipan as a captain and executive officer of the Marine’s 5th Amphibious Tractor Battalion. The tag was found on the actual invasion beach where Stoll fought during the first three days of the battle. After Saipan, Stoll participated in the amphibious invasions of Tinian and Iwo Jima. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1962 with the rank of lieutenant colonel and passed away in 2008.

Upon the completion of the research, IRP staff met with Historic Preservation officer Rita Chong- Dela Cruz, and it was mutually agreed that the identification tag was to be returned to Stoll’s family. Consultations with Katherine Stoll Bushong, Stoll’s eldest surviving child, have been completed. She has informed IRP that she plans to pass this artifact on to her son, who is a Marine Corps veteran.

Bushong expressed her gratitude for the efforts that IRP invested in researching the history of the tag and for bringing this discovery to the attention of her family. The tag will soon be returned to Bushong and her family. (IRP)

Press Release
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