COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A Virginia National Guard sergeant is accused of stealing World War II-period dog tags from the National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland, at the least the second theft case involving the analysis facility.
Robert Rumsby, 29, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, instructed investigators he took dog tags that belonged to 4 U.S. airmen killed in airplane crashes in 1944, based on a legal criticism filed in federal courtroom final month.
Rumsby’s spouse is the good niece of one of the deceased airmen. Rumsby mentioned he gave that airman’s dog tags to his spouse’s grandmother as a Christmas present and gave one other airman’s dog tags to a relative of that serviceman.
The criticism expenses Rumsby with theft of public data. He has an Aug. 14 trial date on the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Rumsby instructed the Stars and Stripes newspaper he took the dog tags from the power in College Park, Maryland, so he may give them to useless troopers’ households.
“I think the intent was there. I think the approach was wrong. Even at the time, I knew the approach was wrong,” he mentioned. “I had taken four identification tags from those record groups specifically for families I knew would treasure them.”
Rumsby declined to be interviewed this week, telling an Associated Press reporter to “go fry someone else if that is your intention.”
“Feel free to publish a story on how the U.S. Government withheld information from families concerning personal effects being held without their knowledge for 70 plus years,” he wrote in an e mail.
Rumsby is not the primary customer to be accused of stealing from the National Archives facility in College Park.
Antonin DeHays, a French historian and writer, was sentenced in April 2018 to 1 12 months in jail after pleading responsible to stealing at the least 291 dog tags and different relics, most of which he offered on eBay and elsewhere for a complete of greater than $43,000.
“Some of these dog tags bore evidence of damage, such as dents and charring due to fire sustained during the crashes,” mentioned a courtroom submitting in DeHays’ case.
The College Park facility shops hundreds of dog tags that have been seized by the German Luftgaukommandos, which ready experiences on Allied plane crashes throughout World War II.
In January 2017, National Archives workers have been investigating attainable thefts of artifacts once they found that dog tags belonging to World War II aviator Theodore Ream have been lacking from a field Rumsby had accessed in October 2016, based on the legal criticism. Rumsby’s spouse is the good niece of Ream, whose sister is the grandmother of Rumsby’s spouse. Investigators recovered Ream’s dog tag from a shadow field on the grandmother’s dwelling in Chesapeake, Maryland.
In 2015, Rumsby additionally accessed a field that contained dog tags for 3 airmen who died in a July 21, 1944, airplane crash. When investigators questioned him on April four, Rumsby retrieved the dog tags for 2 of these airmen from a shelf in his dwelling and mentioned he had given the third dog tag to a relative of that airman, based on the criticism.
Rumsby was quoted in an April 2018 article within the New York Times about civilians volunteering to determine the stays of troopers in U.S. army cemeteries. The article mentioned Rumsby, a former Army lieutenant, had spent years indexing unknown graves from World War II.
Rumsby is assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. National Guard spokesman A. A. “Cotton” Puryear mentioned Rumsby’s unit leaders are conscious of the legal case.
“Once the civilian judicial process is complete, his chain of command will evaluate to see if any military administrative action would be appropriate,” Puryear mentioned in an e mail.
Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.
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