Military History/Dog Tag/SeaBee


I have my late father's dog tags and I have a few questions about them.  He served in the Navy in the Vietnam War.

The tag lists info like this:
Last Name, First and Middle Intials
B(2 digits) (2 digits) (2 digits)  USN
I am curious as to why no first name is listed - only initals
What is the number that follows the letter B
I am assuming that AP is his blood typer?  A pos?  Is that correct?

Also, he was a member of the seabees.  Where can I read more about the seabees?  I vaguely remember something about the number 7.  Could this be a battalion number?

ANY help/information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  Dad did not talk much about his service but was very proud to be a Vietnam Vet.  Thank you very much, sir.

My guess about the first name is that the letters in his last name plus his first name may have been too long to fit on one line. It's also possible that his official Navy records have only his first initial, although that seems doubtful.

The number following the B would be your father's service number, AKA serial number.

The "B" was added during the Vietnam War because the Navy was running out of unique numbers. It was in effect from 1965-71.

The Army didn't have that problem as it used two letters before the service number: for enlisted men it was either US (for draftees), RA (for those who joined--Regular Army), NG (National Guard) or ER (Reserves).

Yes, the next line is blood type.

The next line should be his religion.

The following link contains a brief official history of the Navy Seabees during the VN War:

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Marc Leepson


I can answer most questions dealing with all aspects of U.S. military history. My expertise is the Vietnam War. I also have written extensively about the U.S. Civil War, World War II, World War I, The Philippine War, and the American Revolution. My books include a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, the history of the American Flag, and the post-Jefferson history of Monticello, and therefore know a great deal about those specific subjects. I specialize in writing about matters of strategy--not tactics. And I also am interested in personalities. I have very little knowledge about ordnance or the value of old military memorabilia. Nor do I know a lot about uniforms and insignia--except about the Vietnam War. To repeat: I have no expertise in assessing the value of ordnance or uniforms or any type of military equipment. And my knowledge about military uniforms is only limited to those of the Vietnam War era. If you have questions on these topics, I recommend contacting an antiques dealer in your area who specializes in military uniforms, ordnance, etc.


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