Archaeologists recover a WWII dog tag at drainage project site on Saipan
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Saipan-- Archeologists with the Infrastructure and Recovery Program have recovered a World War II metal identity tag, commonly known as "dog tag," at the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.'s sewer and drainage project site in San Jose village.
The dog tag was found by Jeremy Freeman, Scott Bierly and Keona DLG Torres in April while undertaking subsurface testing at the project site.
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.
Background research conducted by the IRP staff revealed that the tag belonged to Capt. William Conrad Stoll Jr., who participated in the Battle of Saipan as an 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 invasion of Tinian and Iwo Jima. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1962 with the rank of lieutenant colonel and passed away in 2008.
The IRP staff and Historic Preservation Officer Rita Chong-Dela Cruz agreed to return the tag to Stoll’s family.
Consultations with Katherine Stoll Bushong, the eldest surviving child of Lt. Col. Stoll, 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.