Jennifer Locke Jones
Collections Specialist, Armed Forces History

"...they would gently clean the material..."
When it came out to the table, each team had a set of material on the table--we collected Team 5's table material. On the table was a clipboard and a ruler with slips of paper that they developed. Itís a form that was for mortuary processing.

They also had tags and baby wipes. They would gently clean the material off with baby wipes, as they were processing they could clean off the rank insignia or whatever off of material. And so we in fact collected everything off the table, including the plastic bags that they would put them in, the tags that they used, the pens, the rubber bands, the tape, you name it.

The thing that's most interesting is that they had three sets of tags that they used when they photographed. They determined as they were processing whether the material were slated for destruction, whether it was material that should go to next of kin or whether it was material that was actually government property.

The most emotional part of the processing was probably when they had to determine whether this was next of kin material or whether it needed to be destroyed because it was either un-cleanable, or it was unrecognizable or it was clothing that was so beyond repair or beyond returning to anybody that they had to use judgment.