B-123966, AUG. 5, 1955

B-123966: Aug 5, 1955

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MCCREA: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 3. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT SINCE THE RECORD INDICATED THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW. WHO IS THE PREFERRED HEIR UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25. THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. THE CLAIMS DIVISION CERTIFIED THAT THE AMOUNT OF PAY DUE WAS PAYABLE TO DORA E. MCCREA WAS LEGALLY TERMINATED WHEN HE DIED ON FEBRUARY 28. THE REPORT ALSO SHOWS THAT EVIDENCE OF HIS DEATH WAS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON NOVEMBER 6. ON WHICH DATE HIS PAY STATUS WAS TERMINATED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT. WALKER WERE DIVORCED PRIOR TO HIS DEATH ON FEBRUARY 28. ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE PROPERLY PAID TO HER.

B-123966, AUG. 5, 1955

TO MRS. MADALYN E. MCCREA:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 3, 1955, WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF BY MR. JAMES H. HASTINGS, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR ARREARS OF PAY DUE IN THE CASE OF YOUR LATE SON, VERNE L. MCCREA, INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICE AS CORPORAL, UNITED STATES ARMY.

BY LETTER OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED FEBRUARY 21, 1955, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT SINCE THE RECORD INDICATED THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW, WHO IS THE PREFERRED HEIR UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1946, 60 STAT. 30, WHICH GOVERNS THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS FOR AMOUNTS DUE DECEASED PERSONNEL OF THE ARMY, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. ON FEBRUARY 24, 1955, THE CLAIMS DIVISION CERTIFIED THAT THE AMOUNT OF PAY DUE WAS PAYABLE TO DORA E. MCCREA WALKER, AS WIDOW OF THE DECEDENT. IN THE LETTER OF MARCH 3, 1955, MR. HASTINGS STATES THAT MRS. WALKER ADMITTED SHE OBTAINED A DIVORCE FROM THE DECEDENT AND MARRIED MR. WALKER BEFORE NOVEMBER 6, 1953, THE DATE OF THE RECEIPT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OF EVIDENCE OF THE DEATH OF CORPORAL MCCREA ON FEBRUARY 28, 1951.

IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED APRIL 18, 1955, FROM OUR CLAIMS DIVISION TO MRS. WALKER AS TO THE POSSIBILITY OF HER HAVING OBTAINED A DIVORCE FROM THE DECEDENT, SHE REPLIED BY LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1955, THAT HER MARRIAGE TO VERNE L. MCCREA WAS LEGALLY TERMINATED WHEN HE DIED ON FEBRUARY 28, 1951, AND THAT SHE NEVER INSTIGATED ANY DIVORCE ACTION AGAINST HIM AT ANY TIME. SHE FURTHER STATED THAT SHE MARRIED EARL D. WALKER ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1952, IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA.

THE OFFICIAL REPORT OF DEATH OF THE DECEDENT FURNISHED US BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SHOWS THAT HE DIED IN KOREA ON FEBRUARY 28, 1951,"WHILE IN THE HANDS OF THE OPPOSING FORCES.' THE REPORT ALSO SHOWS THAT EVIDENCE OF HIS DEATH WAS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON NOVEMBER 6, 1953, ON WHICH DATE HIS PAY STATUS WAS TERMINATED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT, 56 STAT. 143, AS AMENDED.

SINCE NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED THAT THE DECEDENT AND MRS. WALKER WERE DIVORCED PRIOR TO HIS DEATH ON FEBRUARY 28, 1951, SHE BECAME HIS WIDOW ON THAT DATE, AND ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD THE ARREARS OF PAY WERE PROPERLY PAID TO HER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21, 1955, DENYING YOUR CLAIM, WAS CORRECT.