K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

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Mugea
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K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

#1 Post by Mugea » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:15 am

Just recently I bought a K-409 (listed in the catalogs 1958 and 1959):

K-409_08_1024x767.jpg
K-409_08_1024x767.jpg (81.74 KiB) Viewed 301 times

Well, a nice looking watch – but in this case my interest is focused on the presentation engraving on the back:
K-409_03_1024x767.jpg
K-409_03_1024x767.jpg (87.15 KiB) Viewed 301 times
So, L. W. Thomas received this watch on Christmas 1961 (I'm pretty sure, Dan will like this ;) ). But what’s exactly the number between his name and the date., i. e.

US56343701

???

Is this a US Army Service Number? If so: any chance to find out more about L. W. Thomas’ military career?

Any help would be appreciated!

Regards

Martin
P.S: I think, a Service number engraved on the back per se is unusual – or? Have you seen others?

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502 to Right
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Re: K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

#2 Post by 502 to Right » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am

That is definitely a military service number. It's post-Korean War.

Here is the U.S. government link on how to request information for a service member:

https://www.usa.gov/veterans-documents

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n-theory
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Re: K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

#3 Post by n-theory » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:06 am

Great watch. I've owned both versions but never with such a cool story.

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scranger
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Re: K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

#4 Post by scranger » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:41 pm

It's his service number. The US indicates that he was an enlisted member of the Army of the United States, i.e., a draftee. Had he voluntarily enlisted, his number would be prefixed with RA, indicating he was in the Regular, or US Army. The Army of the United States has been inactive since the draft was suspended in 1973.

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Mugea
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Re: K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

#5 Post by Mugea » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:05 am

Thank you all for the explanations and link!

Ah, I see, he was an enlisted member of the Army of the United States, i.e., a draftee and not a member of the US Army. Interesting differentiation. I wasn’t aware of this “sophisticated” system (but I know now, that for example the famous 101st Airborne Division “Screaming Eagles” belonged to the Army of the United States, not to the US Army).

Also thanks for the U.S. government link ! the problem I have: there doesn’t seem to be a possibility to fill in the Service number in a search engine (except for Military members who were killed in action – fortunately, L. W. Thomas seems to have survived the Vietnam war). The only way you can search is for names – and that’s the problem! “Thomas” seems to be a common last name and his full first name(s) isn’t (aren’t) known to me.

Anyway: what’s odd: obviously, L. W. Thomas received the watch for Christmas 1961. Probably from his parents. Why did they ordered to engrave also his Service Number? As he was a draftee (not a proud new Lieutenant or the like) – for what purpose? To prevent others from stealing his watch? In any case: odd, if not to say: confusing.

Regards

Martin
P.S:: the watch came with a nice looking, but not original Stonewall bracelet – I took the opportunity to put it in a blue “Automatic” marked box I have laying around…
K-409_11_1024x768.jpg
K-409_11_1024x768.jpg (82.07 KiB) Viewed 245 times

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scranger
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Re: K-409 with US Military Service Number on the back

#6 Post by scranger » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:46 pm

The four components of the US Army are the Regular Army, the Army of the United States, the US Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard. The 101st Airborne Division is part of the US Army. During the time of Thomas' service, it was comprised of members of the Regular Army and the Army of the United States (draftees). Now it's members are almost entirely from the Regular Army.

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