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May 17, 2010

Help Find a WW2 Soldier from Illinois

Jill in Australia found another Dog Tag belonging to an American WW2 soldier. This military identification tag belonged to Randall E. Packard. His next of kin was Margaret [L.?] Packard of 406 Ash Street in Carbondale Illinois.

Jill would like to see the Dog Tag go to a living descendant so let's see if we can work together and find more about Randall E. Packard and his relative Margaret L. in Illinois.

Jill's previous find was the Dog Tag for Stanley Thompson With the help of my readers we found quite a bit about Stanley but never found a living descendant.

Fingers crossed that we have better luck with Randall and can send his dog tags home!


Genealogy Blogger said...

I neglected to add in my post about Randall Packard that his Dog Tag I.D. number looks like

0-734826 T.42

Thomas MacEntee said...

Clarification - the city is Carbondale not Carbundale. Since I am here in Chicago, Illinois I will do some research.


Homegrown {& the Bug} said...

Looks like this is our fellow:

Randall E Packard
Born 1917, Iowa
Enlisted 6 Feb 1941
Service #38052005

At the time of his enlistment he was single, without dependents.

There is a Randall Packard shown in the 1920 census in Clinton, Iowa. His parents are Eugene and Ethel.

The 1930 census shows the family in Nebraska and it looks like Randall's dad's name is Richard Eugene. Richard has a sister named Francis M, born about 1912 in Michigan and it states again, that he was born in Iowa.

Looks like he died in Collier, Florida on 19 Feb 1993. His birth date was 3 Jun 1917. He's also in the SSDI and it shows Omaha, Nebraska, as his last residence.

Cindy said...

From the National Archives AAD database I found that he was born in 1917, he was single with no dependents, born in Iowa but living in Harris County, Texas at the time of enlistment on Feb 6, 1941. Army serial number is 38052005.

Chris said...


He is likely the Randall E. Packard, son of Richard E (Eugene) and Ethel Packard, born in Clinton County, Iowa and living in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1930 Census. He enlisted in the army from Houston, Texas. He is listed on in the WWII Deaths and Casualties database
as from Pennsylvania (probably at the time of death or his survivor was living there) Randall Eugene Packard, Fire Controlman, 3c, USNR, Wife Mrs Dorothy Margaret Packard (living) 2514 Riverview Ave, McKeesport (Pennsylvania). I assume this is the widows address at the time of his death, which is note stated in the record. I'm not sure how follow up on this but this is the man.


Cindy said...

- side note - of course that is IF I've found the correct Randall E. Packard in the AAD :-)

Chris said...


The man in question was Randall Eugene Packard, born in Clinton County, Iowa to Richard Eugene and Ethel Packard. They were living in Omaha in the 1930 Census and he enlisted in the Navy from Houston as a single man. The WWII casualties database on listed him as deceased, from the Navy, with a wife/widow Dorothy Margaret Packard who was at the time lving in McKeesport, Pa. I'm not sure how you would find a survivor.

Cindy said...

Carbondale Illinois Free Press newspaper, July 18, 1945; page 3; "Mr & Mrs Randall Packard of Carbondale announce the birth of a daughter at Holden Hospital yesterday".

Norman said...

Progress Report

A WWII Wartime Roster of the 380th Bomb Group (H) ABBREVIATED 380th ROSTER All Squadrons & Group] we find:

Last_Name, First_Name Initials / Sqdn / ASN / Flight_Duty_Post, Air_Crew (Air_Crew_Number) / Ground_Staff, Ground_Duty_Post / Airplane_Name

Packard, Randall E. / 528 / O-734826 / Bombardier, Craig's Crew (8) / - / SHADY LADY


At we find:

Last Name, First Name, Initial(s), ASN | Designation as Flight Crew or Ground Staff, Duty Assignment, (MOS/SSN Code Number) | Aircraft Commander’s Name, (Air Crew Number) | Airplane Name When Claimed | Date and Title of Order Joining Group, Entering Rank | Date and Title of Order or Cause When Leaving Group, Highest Rank Attained | Notes

Packard, Randall E., O-734826 | Flight Crew, Bombardier (1035) | /, / (/) | Craig's Crew (8), SHADY LADY | Initial Deployment, Apr 43, 2/Lt | PAR8, SO155, 380BG, 3 Jun 44, 1/Lt |


The Data Sheet for the SHADY LADY, found at indicates that the SHADY LADY first went missing on 06/10/1943 st Sorong, New Guinea, was "Damaged, Crash Landing, Sent for Repairs, Not Returned, Probably Salvaged" and was terminated at Townsville, Australia on 08/14/1943.


The Mission Record of the SHADY LADY indicates that it crash landed 08/13/1943 at Drysdale, Auswtralia:

This information does not jibe with the information given in the Data Sheet listed immediately above, since that indicates the SHADY LADY went missing on 06/10/1943 and was terminated on 08/14/1943 if I am interpreting the information correctly.


Thankfully, the listing of World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from Jackson County, Illinois at does not list Randall E. Packard, so that is a good sign.


Unfortunately, I must start my work day, but post the above for others to follow through on. I will check back later today.



Homegrown {& the Bug} said...

I really don't think the Howard Eugene Packard that died in the war is the man we're looking for.
Randall has one sister that I mentioned, Francis Mina, and she died in Omaha, Nebraska (married a Coffey) so it seems the family mostly settled there.

The Pennsylvania link just doesn't seem plausible to me. In the early 90s, there is a listing for Margaret and Randall Packard living in Omaha at 6013 Oakcrest Plz but that residence is now inhabited by someone else. Margaret was 90 at the time so it's likely she's passed on as well but it would be helpful to find their daughter.

Diane said...

I have found Randall/Margaret's address in Nebraska, along with info for the current owner of the house who may have further info. I don't feel comfortable posting that personal information - is there an email address I can forward to?

Diane said...

Looks like Randall may have worked for an advertising agency? This is from an article regarding a radio station winning an award (Columbus Telegram 1963).

Judges were George Round of
Ihe University of Nebraska public
relations deparlmenl, Walt Gibbs
of KSWI in Council Bluffs, .Iowa,
and Randall Packard of an
Omaha advertising agency.

Genealogy Blogger said...

@Diane - I'm sorry, I didn't realize my email address was not on the main page of my blog.

If you click on VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE (right side bar) you are taken to a page that has my email contact.

Thank you!

Homegrown {& the Bug} said...

I found Randall and Margaret's previous address too but it looks like she is gone as well, so it didn't seem to me that the two sets of owners were related.

I did find a family tree of someone related to Randall though. It lists two living children so perhaps the owner of the tree will get back to me and I can forward her contact information to Olive Tree or she'll visit this blog herself.

Homegrown {& the Bug} said...

@Diane: That makes total sense -- Randall stated that he was in advertising with a year of college under his belt when he enlisted.

Homegrown {& the Bug} said...

@Lorine: Emailed you about Randall's children, think I've found them. Hope it helps and please do keep us informed :).

Finn said...

It looks like that Margaret was last living at 4901 S 153rd St, which is the Walnut Grove Adult Living Community in Omaha, NE

Gord Hines said...

This supplements Norman's 8:36AM posting (and some of Homegrown's and Cindy's contributions):

The serial # line of Randall's dog tag, reads >> O-734862 T42 O <<
On several sites dealing with WWII Dog Tags, various posters (incl veterans) noted that a leading letter "O" or "O-" [NOT a zero!] before the 6 digit number was for Officers. The NARA ASN database "NOTES" indicates that Officers are EXCLUDED. See also "Remark" #1 and #3 on this dog tag site for the variety of "Officers" covered by the "O" serials:
"T42" refers to his Tetanus "T" innoculation given in 1942 "42"[introduced for enlisted men's tags in Nov 1941] followed by his "Blood Type" "O".

At the website, Randall's death is noted by the SHADY LADY Pilot, Douglas Craig:

Name Sqdn 380th Assgnmt
Place of Death Date of Death Reported by
Packard, Randall E. 528th
Bombardier, Craig (8)
Omaha NE 02/19/1993
Doug Craig

Chapter 16 (pg119 ff) of the Book
"The Flying Circus: Pacific War--1943--as Seen Through a Bombsight By Jim Wright" deals with the SHADY LADY crash/rescue and mentions Randall Packard.

The ASN #38052005 upon enlistment in 1941 was most likely "superceded" by the office ASN upon Randall's promotion.

The Florida Death Index at lists Randall's death info:

Florida Death Index, 1877-1998
Name: Randall Eugene Packard
Death Date: 19 Feb 1993
County of Death: Collier
State of Death: Florida
Age at Death: 75
Race: White
Birth Date: 3 Jun 1917

His SSN & place of residence at his death are found via the free RootsWeb SSDI: 68137 (Omaha, Douglas, NE) 505-09-9186

Hopefully, a living relation will be located through this concerted effort.

Gord Hines said...

I have located Randall E Packard's wife and will try to reach her today by telephone. I'll report on my efforts later today.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Wow, this is great everyone! What an amazing team you all are. Gord is phoning Randall's wife, and Homegrown & The Bug found Randall's son (who I have not contacted).

Will let everyone know what happens as soon as I know! How exciting!


Cindy said...

What a fantastic thing you have done here - I've recently tracked down medals for two WWII vets in my family and to see the collaboration of researchers to track down this guy's family is inspirational! Although it's not my family I'd like to say Thanks to everyone who jumped in on this 'project'. What a great bunch of people you all are!

Gord Hines said...

I spoke with Randall's wife this morning. Despite some technical problems with her phone that were garbling our conversation, they were solved with a callback to a different phone. I was able to explain to her, in some detail, the tale of the wandering, long lost dog tag and how it came to be, through our collective efforts, that I was calling her this morning. She was quite thrilled about it all. I have passed on her contact info to Lorine via phone.
All in all, a quite satisfying way to spend part of my day.

ps: My own Dad was a WWII RCAF bomber pilot and pilot trainer.

Cindy said...

Gord what wonderful news! I too have a WWII Army Air Force vet (he was a gunner) in my Grandfather and I would be absolutely thrilled to get a call such as this! Great job on everyone's part! Oh I've just got chills!!!!

Jill said...

Thanks to all who have found out so much information on the person who lost his dog tag in remote area of Australia so long ago. When we found the tag we never thought we would ever be able find the owner.
I look forward to returning the tag and perhaps one of the people who have done so much research on my behalf would like to deliver it,
I would dearly love to get an update when this happens

Karen Taff said...

This is my grandfather's dog tag. Thank you so much for finding and returning this to my grandmother.

Charles said...

This is pretty amazing! I shared this in my weekly devotional to my congregation. To all who participated in this, thank you very much. I know my mother will be thrilled and honored. As you discoved, my dad's birthday is coming up on June 3rd. Blessings to all.
Rev. Charles Packard

Sarah said...

So cool! I am another granddaughter of "Da" Thank you to all!

Randall Hallett said...

To all involved--- My name is Randall Hallett. Randall E. Packard was my grandfather. I was named for him. As a family, we are sending out emails and phone calls like crazy.

Da (as we grandchildren called him) returned from the War, was the father of two wonderful children (including my mother), grandfather to 6, and lived a wonderful life. He was successful at nearly everything he touched, including a 50 year marriage to my grandmother who is still alive. As mentioned in the blog, Da passed 17 years ago, but lived a wonderful and full life.

We are a small family, so things like this make us smile and cry at the same time--and make us realize how fortunate we are as a family to have mentored and loved by those who have preceded us.

We would like to retrieve the dog tag for my grandmother. Is there a way to contact Jill? We did not see that. I can be contacted at

Thank you to all of you. We are very appreciative and humbled by the fact that you would track down a wonderful, yet anonymous, American soldier.

Randall Hallett

Christen said...

This is just amazing. My grandfather would be SO proud and I am sure it made my LuLu's day when she received your call. I know my father (Randall's son) was thrilled. Thank you for your efforts and time spent. ♥

Vicki Hallett said...

Randall Packard was my father...I am "that birth announcement from the Carbondale, Illinois newspaper" nearly 65 years ago. Daddy died in 1993, and although that loss is as real today as it was that day, our lives are rich beyond belief because of his goodness, wisdom and love. Thank you for letting him touch our lives amazing story with incredible joy.
Vicki Packard Hallett

Mary said...

This story should be delivered to the press...we don't hear enough good news stories like this!

Luckie said...

Absolutely amazing & heartwarming! The community effort & the family response is what the genealogy community is all about. Well done!:-)

Charles said...

After sharing this with my congregation in my weekly Wednesday devotional and subsequently posting it on our website (, I have received numerous emails about how incredible and fascinating this has been. One of the notes was from a person who worked for my dad and expressed how touched he was. It's so humbling to be the recipient of a gift like this. Again thank you to everyone who has been involved. Blessings,
Charles Packard, son of Randall E.