A-33119, SEPTEMBER 6, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 109

A-33119: Sep 6, 1930

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MAKES THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR REMOVAL OF THE REMAINS WHICH WERE TEMPORARILY INTERRED. THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION "CARE OF THE DEAD" IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR. IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS. IN HIS DISCRETION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH AN ESCORT NOT TO EXCEED ONE PERSON TO PLACE OF BURIAL FOR THE BODIES OF OFFICERS. OR NURSES WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE NAVAL SERVICE * * 2. A LOCAL INTERMENT WAS MADE AND THE NEXT OF KIN NOW REQUESTS REMOVAL OF THE REMAINS FROM PLACE OF BURIAL TO THE HOME OF THE DECEASED. THE CASE IN QUESTION AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATIVE THERETO ARE AS FOLLOWS: RAFAEL OLIMPIA. AT TIME OF DEATH THE FORWARDING OF THE BODY TO HIS HOME IN THE PHILIPPINES WAS IMPOSSIBLE DUE TO TRANSPORTATION CONDITIONS AND INTERMENT.

A-33119, SEPTEMBER 6, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 109

BURIAL EXPENSES - ESCORTS - WORLD WAR VETERANS WHERE THE DEATH OF AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY OCCURRED IN THE SERVICE BETWEEN APRIL 6, 1917, AND JULY 2, 1921, THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF 1924, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 201 (1), ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 997, AND SECTION 212, ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 798, MAKES THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR REMOVAL OF THE REMAINS WHICH WERE TEMPORARILY INTERRED, AND THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION "CARE OF THE DEAD" IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 991, THE QUESTION WHETHER RETURN TO HIS HOME SHALL BE MADE OF THE BODY OF AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY WHO DIED IN THE SERVICE BETWEEN APRIL 6, 1917, AND JULY 2, 1921, IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR FIRST INDORSEMENT OF AUGUST 21, 1930, REQUESTING DECISION OF A MATTER PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE ACT OF MAY 26, 1928 (45 STAT. 767), PROVIDES "THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, IN HIS DISCRETION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH AN ESCORT NOT TO EXCEED ONE PERSON TO PLACE OF BURIAL FOR THE BODIES OF OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, OR NURSES WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE NAVAL SERVICE * *

2. IN CONNECTION WITH THIS ACT, THE BUREAU DESIRES TO BE INFORMED WHETHER ITS PROVISIONS MAY BE EXTENDED TO PROVIDE FOR THE SENDING OF AN ESCORT IN A CASE WHERE DEATH OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT, A LOCAL INTERMENT WAS MADE AND THE NEXT OF KIN NOW REQUESTS REMOVAL OF THE REMAINS FROM PLACE OF BURIAL TO THE HOME OF THE DECEASED. THE CASE IN QUESTION AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATIVE THERETO ARE AS FOLLOWS: RAFAEL OLIMPIA, MESS ATTENDENT 3D CLASS, U.S.N., DIED AT THE NAVAL HOSPITAL, MARE ISLAND, CALIF., OCTOBER 31, 1918. AT TIME OF DEATH THE FORWARDING OF THE BODY TO HIS HOME IN THE PHILIPPINES WAS IMPOSSIBLE DUE TO TRANSPORTATION CONDITIONS AND INTERMENT, THEREFORE, WAS MADE IN THE MARE ISLAND NAVAL CEMETERY. THE BROTHER OF THE DECEASED, MR. HILARION J. OLIMPIA, NOW IN THIS COUNTRY, HAS MADE APPLICATION FOR DISINTERMENT OF THE REMAINS AND THEIR SHIPMENT TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, AND HAS REQUESTED THAT PROVISION BE MADE FOR HIM TO TRAVEL WITH THE REMAINS AS ESCORT.

3. UNDER DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER, WHERE REMAINS HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY INTERRED, WHERE INTERMENT HAS BEEN NECESSARY BEFORE ASCERTAINING THE WISHES OF THE NEXT OF KIN, OR WHERE CONDITIONS HAVE NECESSITATED LOCAL INTERMENT CONTRARY TO THE WISHES OF THE NEXT OF KIN, SUBSEQUENT DISINTERMENT AND TRANSPORTATION TO THE PLACE OF BURIAL DESIRED BY THE NEXT OF KIN IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THIS BUREAU. SO FAR AS RELATES TO THE RETURN OF THE REMAINS TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, THEREFORE, NO QUESTION ARISES. HOWEVER, THE BUREAU IS IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE PROPER TO AUTHORIZE THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE BROTHER AS ESCORT FOR THE REMAINS IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE LAW AUTHORIZING THE SENDING OF AN ESCORT WAS ENACTED SOME TEN YEARS AFTER DEATH OCCURRED, ALTHOUGH THE WORDING OF THE ACT, "WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES" IS NOTED.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR BURIAL EXPENSES IN THE NAVY IS CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE "CARE OF THE DEAD" UNDER THE HEADING "BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY," 46 STAT. 568, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * FOR REMOVAL OF REMAINS FROM ABANDONED CEMETERIES TO NAVAL OR NATIONAL CEMETERIES, OR TO THEIR HOMES, INCLUDING REMAINS INTERRED IN ISOLATED GRAVES AT HOME AND ABROAD, AND REMAINS TEMPORARILY INTERRED. * *

THE STATEMENT WOULD INDICATE THAT THE REMAINS OF THIS ENLISTED MAN WERE NOT SENT TO HIS HOME AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH DUE TO TRANSPORTATION CONDITIONS INCIDENT TO THE WORLD WAR. PROVISION IS MADE IN THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 201 (1), 46 STAT. 997, AND 212, 44 STAT. 798 (SECS 472 AND 422, TITLE 38, U.S. CODE, SUPPLEMENT III), AS FOLLOWS:

IF DEATH OCCUR OR SHALL HAVE OCCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO APRIL 6, 1917, AND BEFORE DISCHARGE OR RESIGNATION FROM THE SERVICE, THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU SHALL PAY FOR BURIAL AND FUNERAL EXPENSES AND THE RETURN OF BODY TO HIS HOME A SUM NOT TO EXCEED $100, AS MAY BE FIXED BY REGULATION. * * *

SEC. 212. * * * TITLES II AND IV OF THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO ANY DISABILITY OR RESULTANT DEATH IN THE SERVICE IF SUCH DISABILITY OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF SERVICE PRIOR TO APRIL 6, 1917, OR AFTER JULY 2, 1921.

THE AUTHORITY FOR THE RETURN OF BODY TO HIS HOME IN THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT IS UNDER TITLE II. WHILE THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION MIGHT OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR REMOVAL OF REMAINS TEMPORARILY INTERRED, THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT IS BY ITS TERMS MADE SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE IN CASE WHERE DEATH OCCURRED IN THE SERVICE FROM APRIL 6, 1917, TO JULY 2, 1921, SEE 7 COMP. GEN. 177, AND IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE CURRENT NAVAL APPROPRIATION FOR "CARE OF THE DEAD" IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OF REMAINS OF OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE BETWEEN APRIL 6, 1917, AND JULY 2, 1921, THE DISPOSITION OF SUCH REMAINS BEING EXCLUSIVELY NOW A MATTER FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 991, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER RETURN OF THE BODY TO HIS HOME SHALL BE MADE IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS. IS NOT, THEREFORE, NECESSARY TO DETERMINE IN CONNECTION WITH THIS CASE WHETHER THE ACT OF MAY 26, 1928, IS AUTHORITY FOR THE FURNISHING OF AN ESCORT WHERE DEATH OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT.