B-127998, JUL. 16, 1956

B-127998: Jul 16, 1956

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CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR DRILL PAY FOR DRILLS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY YOU ON APRIL 3. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 15. RECORDS AT THIS HEADQUARTERS INDICATE THAT SUBJECT OFFICER'S LAST DRILL ATTENDED WAS 27 MARCH 1951. QUARTERLY DRILL REPORT FOR QUARTER 1 APRIL 1951 TO 30 JUNE 1951 INDICATES THAT NO DRILLS WERE ATTENDED DURING THIS QUARTER.'. THAT WHEN YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY "NO TRACE COULD BE FOUND OF THE OLD "500" CARD INDICATING ANYTHING OF MY PAST DRILL ATTENDANCE.'. STATEMENTS OF A FORMER COMMANDING OFFICER WHO MAY HAVE ORDERED OR WITNESSED YOUR ATTENDANCE AT THE DRILLS WOULD NOT AFFORD A SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WHEN SUCH STATEMENTS ARE MADE LONG AFTER THE PERIOD INVOLVED AND APPARENTLY ARE MADE ON THE BASIS OF HIS RECOLLECTION.

B-127998, JUL. 16, 1956

TO LIEUTENANT MARION B. ERWIN, USNR:

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 23, 1956, THE U.S. NAVY FINANCE CENTER, CLEVELAND, OHIO, FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR DRILL PAY FOR DRILLS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY YOU ON APRIL 3, 10, 17, AND 24, 1951, AND MAY 1, 8, AND 15, 1951, WHILE SERVING AS A LIEUTENANT, NAVAL RESERVE SURFACE DIVISION 9-17, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1954, ON THE BASIS OF A REPORT DATED JANUARY 25, 1954, FROM THE COMMANDANT, NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBJ. LT MARION B. ERWIN, USNR-S2; CLAIM, DRILL PAY EARNED AS A MEMBER OF NAVAL RESERVE SURFACE DIVISION 9-17, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS FOR PERIOD OF 3 APRIL 1951 THROUGH 15 MAY 1951

"1. RECORDS AT THIS HEADQUARTERS INDICATE THAT SUBJECT OFFICER'S LAST DRILL ATTENDED WAS 27 MARCH 1951. QUARTERLY DRILL REPORT FOR QUARTER 1 APRIL 1951 TO 30 JUNE 1951 INDICATES THAT NO DRILLS WERE ATTENDED DURING THIS QUARTER.'

YOU ADMIT IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1956, THAT WHEN YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY "NO TRACE COULD BE FOUND OF THE OLD "500" CARD INDICATING ANYTHING OF MY PAST DRILL ATTENDANCE.' WITH YOUR LETTER YOU ENCLOSED COPIES OF TWO LETTERS FROM A MR. DEAN J. PARR, FORMER COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE TRAINING CENTER, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS, STATING THAT TO THE BEST OF HIS KNOWLEDGE YOU PERFORMED DRILLS ON THE DATES ALLEGED BY YOU.

OUR OFFICE NECESSARILY MUST RELY UPON THE OFFICIAL RECORDS AS FURNISHED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH RECORDS, IT LONG HAS BEEN THE RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS TO ACCEPT THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AS TO THE QUESTIONS OF FACT. STATEMENTS OF A FORMER COMMANDING OFFICER WHO MAY HAVE ORDERED OR WITNESSED YOUR ATTENDANCE AT THE DRILLS WOULD NOT AFFORD A SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WHEN SUCH STATEMENTS ARE MADE LONG AFTER THE PERIOD INVOLVED AND APPARENTLY ARE MADE ON THE BASIS OF HIS RECOLLECTION. HIS STATEMENTS ALONE, UNLESS CLEARLY SUPPORTED BY OFFICIAL RECORDS MADE AT THE TIME OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DRILLS, COULD NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THAT YOU ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE DRILLS ON THE DATES CLAIMED. MOREOVER, EVEN IF IT WERE OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED THAT YOU PERFORMED THE DRILLS ON THE DATES INDICATED, YOU WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO DRILL PAY FOR MAY 8, 1951, SINCE YOUR PAY RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU WERE PAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR THAT DATE INCIDENT TO REPORTING FOR A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION.

ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD THE ACTION TAKEN IN SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1954, MUST BE SUSTAINED.