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number 438 Donald R. Petit, joined the US Marines on the 14th December, 1942. He was my father. He was a journalist and founder of the "boot" marine newspaper/magazine.

What does the rest of the information on his US Marine Corps Muster Roll mean?

16,jdfr ERD, 14Dec42,anl DHS Springfield, Mass.

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The 1940 Marine Corps Manual is available on Google Books and also on Internet Archive. Information for completing muster rolls is set out from page 229.

There is also a list of approved abbreviations, "for use in muster rolls and other Marine Corps forms", beginning on page 24.


From the list of approved abbreviations we see that:

  • jdfr is "joined from"
  • ERD is "Eastern Recruiting Division"
  • "enl" is "enlist(ed)/enlistment"
  • DHS is "District Headquarters Station (Recruiting)"

The heading at the top of that page of the muster roll states that it covered the recruits arriving at Parris Island, South Carolina, for period from 1 January to 31 January 1943 inclusive:

Muster roll heading


So we can say that Donald R. Petit enlisted on 14 December 1942 at the District Headquarters Station (Recruiting) in Springfield, Massachusetts.

He then joined Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island on 16 January 1943 (from the Eastern Recruiting Division, where he enlisted).

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    Thank you so much for this information. – Gail Petit Tuit Jun 7 at 22:33

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