Dating us dog tags
The machine used at this time doesn’t require a notch to hold the blank in place, hence, today’s tags are smooth on all sides.When measured against the gripping mental image of lion-hearted soldiers setting aside their personal grief to kick shut the jaws of fallen comrades, proper alignment on a stamping machine just doesn’t present itself as much of a story.
Military dog tags issued during WWII, through Korea and into Viet Nam had a distinctive characteristic that instantly identifies these vintage dog tags and also ranks as one of the most highly debated, misunderstood myths or urban legends of all time - the "notch".
Battlefield rumor held that the notched end of the tag was placed between the front teeth of battlefield casualties to hold the jaws in place.
No official record of American soldiers being issued these instructions exists; the only purpose of “the notch” was to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine.
While showing his old army dog tags to my daughter, my father asked if we knew what the notch in the dog tag was for.
He told us that when a soldier died in combat, the notch was used to hold his jaw open at his teeth.