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Thread: Stolen Grave Markers

  1. #1
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Stolen Grave Markers

    Lately there has been a rash of bronze grave markers being stolen from cemetaries with attempts to sell them for scrap price.

    Last week somebody tried to sell a grave marker plaque to CanCo metals on Paramount and South Street here in North Long Beach. The workers there did not buy it and called the Police instead.

    It is hard to tell what cemetary the marker came from and many of us have been having a hard time trying to track down the WW II veteran it belongs to. Presently, the marker is next door to the recycling center on display at VFW Post 8615 until its proper location can be found.

    The marker weighs about 15 to 20 lbs and is marked:

    WARREN H. SMITH
    US ARMY
    NOV 1 1922 JUN 24 1984

    Perhaps some of you WAB members that are real good at researching the Internet can at least come up with a possible location of this man's grave. Then we can check the cemetaries out and see if they indeed are missing that marker.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  2. #2
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Just did a little more research myself and came up with his full name as: Warren Harding Smith. He was originally from North Carolina. He died in Los Angeles (County? City?). His Social Security number was 223 24 8241.

    Still need to find his grave and any surviving family members so his marker can be properly restored.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Just did a little more research myself and came up with his full name as: Warren Harding Smith. He was originally from North Carolina. He died in Los Angeles (County? City?). His Social Security number was 223 24 8241.

    Still need to find his grave and any surviving family members so his marker can be properly restored.
    Have you tried contacting The United States Department of Veterans Affairs?

    They supply a few different markers, free of charge to eligible veterans. The information under the bronze marker reads

    "The flat bronze grave marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, with 3/4 inch rise. Weight is approximately 18 pounds."

    If the VA supplied it, they know where it should be.

  4. #4
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAL's_pal? View Post
    Have you tried contacting The United States Department of Veterans Affairs?

    They supply a few different markers, free of charge to eligible veterans. The information under the bronze marker reads

    "The flat bronze grave marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, with 3/4 inch rise. Weight is approximately 18 pounds."

    If the VA supplied it, they know where it should be.
    I turned the marker over to inspect the back side. It was pretty dirty with a white crust like material. There are four threaded bolt holes in the corners and two raised ridges that look almost like the number 11.

    RustyH2O tried SS death index but came up with nothing. He also had no luck with the VA websites. However I somehow slipped in through a side door on the SS Death Index and came up with a little more information on Smith.

    Though he was originally from North Carolina, his Social Security Card was issued in Virginia. His last known residence was in Compton, California.

    Trying to get on to a site that would give me grave locations is frustrating. They advertise that you can find any grave in any cemetery for free. After you click through the first 2 or3 pages, they ask you to register and send them a membership fee.

    Even after you're dead, somebody is still going to try to make money off of you.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  5. #5
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Just did a little more research myself and came up with his full name as: Warren Harding Smith. He was originally from North Carolina. He died in Los Angeles (County? City?). His Social Security number was 223 24 8241.

    Still need to find his grave and any surviving family members so his marker can be properly restored.
    Found this for you RB...Birth year is 1922:
    Warren H. Smith || Marine Corps Nickname - "One Toe"

  6. #6
    Ray
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    Lately there has been a rash of bronze grave markers being stolen from cemetaries with attempts to sell them for scrap price.
    Sadly, the dead tell no tales and none will know who has done it!

    Notwithstanding, disgraceful!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Found this for you RB...Birth year is 1922:
    Warren H. Smith || Marine Corps Nickname - "One Toe"
    Slight problem with your Warren H. Smith... On the link you provided, he "returned to Philippines and Corregidor in 1987" which was 3 years after cRusty's Warren H. Smith died. I verified cRusty's Warren H. Smith on the California Death Database as 1922-1984.

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    You know you are a real loser when you have to steal from the dead.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    WAB Cautioner of Poo Senior Contributor Debbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    You know you are a real loser when you have to steal from the dead.
    Shameful indeed.
    Welcome, you step into a forum of the flash bang, chew toy hell, and shove it down your throat brutal honesty. OoE

  10. #10
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Found this for you RB...Birth year is 1922:
    Warren H. Smith || Marine Corps Nickname - "One Toe"
    Nice try Dave and I appreciate it. However "your" Warren H. Smith's auto bio says he was born in Ohio in 1921, not North Carolina in 1922. Also he was in the Marines. The grave marker we are guarding says US Army (see my first post on this).

    And please note that CanCo recycling deserves credit. They refused to pay for it, called the cops, then later turned it over to the VFW Post next door. All recycling centers should be that respectful.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  11. #11
    Jay
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    Tamizhanban Senior Contributor Jay's Avatar
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    Found one, but I guess its the wrong one.
    SMITH, WARREN G
    S SGT US ARMY
    WORLD WAR II
    DATE OF BIRTH: 11/15/1920
    DATE OF DEATH: 05/09/1984
    BURIED AT:
    INGLEWOOD PARK CEMETERY
    INGLEWOOD, CA 90301
    (310) 412-6500


    If there is a cemetery close by to you, may be give them a call. Also VA graveside locator does not bring anything for Warren H Smith, so it may be a private grave.
    Moreover VA does not supply bronze plaques, only markers or headstone in Granite.
    Last edited by Jay; 28 Aug 08, at 20:30.
    A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!

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    Jay
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    Try this for gravesite locator,

    Nationwide Gravesite Locator
    A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!

  13. #13
    Jay
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Just did a little more research myself and came up with his full name as: Warren Harding Smith. He was originally from North Carolina. He died in Los Angeles (County? City?). His Social Security number was 223 24 8241.

    Still need to find his grave and any surviving family members so his marker can be properly restored.
    He last resided in 90220 (Compton, Los Angeles, CA)
    A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!

  14. #14
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    He last resided in 90220 (Compton, Los Angeles, CA)
    Inglewood is just a stone throw away from Compton. Both are in LA county.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Inglewood is just a stone throw away from Compton. Both are in LA county.
    More correctly, Inglewood is just a few gunshots away from Compton.

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