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The Search for Stanley Black

On June 12, 1944 15 Paratroopers and one RAAF man was executed by the 17th SS in the town of la Metairie just west of le Mesnil Angot.  A number of the 16 men were buried as unknowns, including X-94 and X-97 who are the focus of this narrative.

James M. Naff and Stanley K. Black were 2 of the 16 men who were executed on June 12, 1944 at la Metairie coordinates 422:752 on 29 GE Map 31-16 NE St. Jean-de-Daye 1-25000.  They were brought to Blosville for burial on July 24, 1944 as Unknown 94 and Unknown 97.  Graves Registration Form #1 was filled out for Unknown 94 (Pfc Naff) correctly and the Inventory of Effects were filled out correctly and signed by Captain Francis A. Greulich of the 3041st Graves Registration Company for both Unknown 94 and Unknown 97.

The next step on that day was to fill out their Label’s of the Personal Effects Bags (The label was cloth not unlike the tag on ones shirt).  Pfc Abraham Slyby from the 3041st Graves Registration Company labeled Unknown 97 under both Names for their Personal Effects.  Their Effects were the sealed and shipped to the Army Effects Bureau, Kansas City Quartermaster Depot.  They sat there as they were both Unknowns at that time.

At a latter time the bottom of the label it had the correct Plot Numbers for both Unknowns though.  T-07-132 (Naff) had X-97 and T-07-140 (Black) had X-97.  So the Name with X-97 stayed, as the Graves Registration Form #1 was not with their Effects at the Army Effects Bureau, Kansas City Quartermaster Depot.  If T-07-132 had the correct name at the top X-94 the rest of the story would not have happened.   

Pfc Naff was identified in November of 1944 and when they pulled down the box with his effects they realized that X-97 was on both Labels Personal Effects Bags.  Even at this point the error could have been prevented but it was not to be.  At first they changed the name of T-07-140 from X-97 to X-96.  They quickly realized that X-96 who had not been identified at this time and was not associated with X-97.

Even then they just had to change Naff Label from X-97 to X-94 and the error would have been corrected.  They had no way of knowing that though as the Graves Registration Form 1 was not at Army Effects Bureau, Kansas City Quartermaster Depot.  Someone at the Depot in Kansas City then decided to combine Naff’s Effects with X-97 thinking since they were both X-97 this had to be Naff’s Personal Effects as well.  It was much later that T-07-132 and the T-07-140 were attached to the respective Labels.  By then the Effects had been sent to the former Mrs. Naff. 

Mrs. Treba received the Effects for James Naff and Stanley Blacks Effects in March of 1946 in two separate Parcels.  The Army Effects Bureau did not realize that Mrs. Treba Naff had remarried in December 1945 and became Mrs. Treba Coker.  Those effects should have been sent to Jack Naff the father of James Naff.

So now the search is on in 2014 to find the family members of Treba Coker and if they still have the Effects for Naff that the actual Naff Effects be sent to the Naff family and the other Effects be sent to Elissa in Australia.

The Coker family probable doesn’t even know anything about the mix-ups and since Naff did not have a child, sending the Effects to the correct families should be fine as long as they still have them.  The Coker family might have thrown them out when Treba died in 2004 or she might have sent them ahead in the 40’s to her former Father-In-Law Jack Naff in Eastrop, LA.

The other question is did the 40.00 dollars go to Black’s father or did it go to either Mrs. Coker or Jack Naff or did it stay with the U.S. Government?

The search continues.

Brian Siddall

July 9, 2014

 


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