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Cpl Sammuel J. Chavous FOD Narrative
The Defense POWMIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) have refused to have this Soldier identified even with all of the documentation.  The DPAA will only ID a Soldier if they figure who and or what they are.  If a non-DPAA can ID one they just say no.  Sad isn't it?

Comparing Vital Statistics for FOD Sammuel J. Chavous and Unknown X-File Blosville X-093.

IDPF (Individual Deceased Personal File) gives information from following Forms:  OQMG (Office of the Quartermaster General ) 371 for FOD Cpl (Corporal) Chavous:  Name, ASN (Army Serial Number), Rank, Unit, Height, Weight, Eyes Color, Hair Color, Shoe Type, Shoe Size, Religion, Race, Location of Death and Date of Death.  Age comes from WD AGO (War Department, Adjutant General's Office) 0353 Finding of Death of Missing Person.  Fingerprints were not found for Cpl Chavous from either FBI or Graves Registration Form No. 1.  Cpl Chavous Teeth comes from Graves Registration Form No. 1.

Form Ia/Op Nr gives Germany Operations Number Regarding: Enemy Situation 11 and 12 June 1944.  The Form Ia/Nr is translated from German to English.   

Arm of Service comes from Battle Casualty Report and the Photo comes from Unit in Spring 1944.

Possible match comes from GRVPL 293-9 Isolated Grave and also from IDPF X- File Blosville X-093.

IDPF X-File gives information from the following Forms: 

X-File Designation, Cemetery, Date of burial, Plot Number and Burial Unit come from Graves Registration Form No. 1.  The Final Burial Location and Burial Plot are from QMC Form 1194.

Witness Statement from Investigation Officer and Interpreter.  Location of death from Graves Registration Form No. 1. 

X-File Conditions of Skeleton, Height, and Weight from AGRC Form No. 11 (American Graves Registration Command).  Teeth from Graves Registration Form NR 1-A, Hair Color, hair Length, Head Circumference, Shoe Type, Shoe Size, Jacket Type, Shirt Size, Pant Size, Pant Type, Socks and Branch of Service from AGRC Form No. 11.  Fingerprints (None) and type of Uniform Patch and Clothing are from Graves Registration Form No. 1.

To start comparing Vital Statistics for FOD Sammuel J. Chavous and X-File Blosville X-093, the best matches first.  In this case Cpl Chavous foot size 6 ½ shoe size is the first connection between his IDPF and IDPF X-File Blosville 093.  You always have to look for the most common denominator

Shoe size is far down the list of comparison, but Cpl Chavous 6 ½ shoe size is unusual in two respects; 6 ½ shoe size is on the lower end of the spectrum and Cpl Chavous Height was 5'8 ½.  The average shoe size for that Height would be an 8 shoe size.  Even more telling is the fact that of all the other men who were buried at coordinate 422:752 in Normandy, 6 ½ shoe size belonged to one soldier.  Cpl Chavous and the Unknown X-File Blosville 093 have the same shoe size.

Using shoe size as the starting point for both IDPFs a comparison is done.

Type                Cpl Chavous               Unknown Blosville X-093  

Shoe Size        6 ½ D                          6 ½ C

Height             5’8 ½”                         5’8 ½”

Weight            150 lbs                        Not available

Hair Color       Brown                         Brown

Head Size        Not recorded               20”

Unit                 101st Abn Div Patch   101st Abn Div Patch

Jacket              Jump Jacket                Jump Jacket

Pants               Jump Pants                  Jump Pants

Boots               Jump Boots                 Jump Boots

Teeth               Filling Upper R8         Filling Upper R8

ASN                C-4771                        H-9115

The ASN is unusual due to the fact that H-9115 shows up three times in the clothing for Cpl Chavous.  H-9115 is the first initial and last four digits of Hoffman, Richard who was also executed in Le Mesnil-Angot Southeast of Graignes proper. 

There are three possibilities of why Cpl Chavous has some of Pfc Hoffman’s uniforms on his buddy.  The first is that men in the same Company often issued items end up with another man’s Jacket or Pants coming back from the Laundry.  The second possibility is that when the bodies were examined at Blosville they had the wrong clothing put on the wrong men. 

When bodies are brought into a Cemetery and EMT (Emergency Medical Tag) have to be filled out.  They will check the body for the type of wound that caused death on the battlefield.  They will also check for effects and markings on clothing.  The bodies are stripped for the examination, and then re-clothed.  Sometimes the bodies have been buried with the wrong clothing on.

The third possibly is that strange as it seems, men going into Normandy would switch Dog Tags for example.  2 men from Co C of the 507th Prcht Inf were killed on June 11, 1944 in a POW strafing in Normandy.  After the carnage had ceased, a Sergeant from the same Company found them and checked their Dog Tags.  When he looked he realized that they had on each others Dog Tags.  For luck or for other reasons things like that did happen.  In the case of the Co C 507th Prcht Inf men there were not just in the same Company, but the same Platoon and Squad.

For Cpl Chavous and Pfc Hoffman this was a similar situation.  They were both in the same Machinegun Platoon for Hq Co 1st Bn 501st Prcht Inf.  Both men were buried at 422:752 so there will never be an answer as to why they had some of Hoffman’s uniform on Chavous.  The one thing that did not happen was misidentified those two men.  Cpl Chavous was 3 inches taller that Hoffman and had much smaller shoe size.                                            

Cpl Chavous was the only man missing in the Graignes is that matched up with the Height, Shoe Size and Teeth.  No other man who was killed in Graignes had 6 ½ Shoe Size and that Height.  Short of DNA which JPAC does not want to do, the family of Cpl Chavous will never know for sure.  He is buried at St. Laurent Sur Mer as Blosville X-093 in Plot C-28-33.

 

Brian N. Siddall

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