Historical Article: A Grave Task – The Wartime Job Nobody Wanted

American Dead After D-Day LandingsBy Joseph Conner @ Historynet.com

The new soldiers arriving at Building 341 at Fort Warren, Wyoming, in November 1943 were blissfully unaware of what the future held. Told they were a “GR outfit,” they speculated on what that meant. Maybe guerilla raiders, one suggested. They liked the sound of that. The next day, their commanding officer, Captain Thomas A. Rowntree, snapped them to attention and informed the men that they were now the 612th Graves Registration Company.

You could hear the sucking in of breaths and the gasps of disbelief and feel a sudden numbness,” recalled Private Thomas J. Dowling. “It was a job that had to be done in war; it was certainly no disgrace, but it was something you always thought about being done by someone else.

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