United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 114. Return of the Remains and Personal Effects of the Dead
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that an Official Graves Registration Service “shall allow … the possible transportation to the home country” of the bodies exhumed. The manual adds that the ashes “shall be kept by the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in accordance with the wishes of the home country”.
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) provides that “as soon as circumstances permit, arrangement be made to … facilitate the return of the remains when requested”.
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support … the principle that each party to a conflict permit teams to … facilitate the return of the remains when requested”.
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that parties to the conflict shall “collect and forward through the … [information] bureau one half of the double identity disc, last wills or other documents of importance to the next of kin, money and in general all articles of an intrinsic or sentimental value, which are found on the dead”.