Dog tags served as identification for wounded and dead personnel. These two tags are held together by two-inch piece of chain and belonged to Thomas C. Farrow. Tom Farrow was a B-17 aircrew member assigned to the 384th Bombardment Squadron in England during WWII. His tags show his name, serial number, the date of his last tetanus shot, blood type, and religion.
What was the notch for? The notch was used with the Model 70 Addressograph Hand Identification Imprinting Machine (a pistol-type imprinter used primarily by the Medical Department during World War II). Since WWII-era dog tags were debossed (the letters were depressed into the metal instead of raised), the tags could be used to print the information on a soldier’s dog tag directly onto medical and personnel forms using the imprinting machine. The notch was to ensure that the tag was correctly inserted into the machine. The use of the Model 70 Addressograph Machine was not as useful as planned and its use was discontinued. However, supplies of notched dog tags continued to be used until they were depleted in the 1960s.