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# Thursday, October 25, 2007
Find WWII Ancestors in Just-Opened Records
Posted by Diane

It just got easier to find information on your ancestor who served in World War II. This week, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) opened Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) of Army, Army Air Corps, Army Air Forces, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel who were discharged, retired or died in the service prior to 1946.

That’s more than six million records documenting assignments, evaluations, awards and decorations, training, demographics, medical information and disciplinary actions. Some files also contain photos of the individual and official correspondence.

You can access your relative’s records by visiting or writing the NPRC in St. Louis, submitting Standard Form 180, or (if you're next of kin) using eVetRecs online ordering. See the NPRC announcement for more details.

The NPRC, a National Archives facility, holds service records of military personnel discharged after 1917. It plans to eventually open its entire collection 57 million OMPFs, with more available to the public each year through 2067.


Libraries and Archives | Military records
Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:43:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:45:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I was disappointed to see that this not availible online. I guess I should be happy that it is availible at all.
Gloria Smith
Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:35:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
A footnote to the announcement should include a reference to the number of files, date sequences, and other pertinent information about the records that were burned in 1973.
Carolyn Scott
Friday, October 26, 2007 10:11:44 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wouldn't it be great if all NARA's records could be online? Digitization of Civil War pension files is beginning; see teh story below.

You'll find information about records lost in the 1973 fire at http://archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/fire-1973.html .
Diane
Friday, October 26, 2007 11:03:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I'm a little confused about what is now being released. I've sent for WWII records for each of my parents who were in the war and was told that the records were all gone and that they could only confirm that they served...when they went in and when they were discharged. Are there new records being released now that weren't available before...in other words, should I resubmit my request?
Kathleen
Friday, October 26, 2007 11:41:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hi, Kathleen,
Before this week, the public could access only records for military discharged before 1939. So, the records in the recent release concern service members discharged between 1939 and 1946, a large number of whom would've been in WWII.

Although all military service records are supposed to be open to next of kin, it's possible that due to a miscommunication or lack of necessary paperwork, NARA staff denied your request because they didn't realize you were next of kin and the records weren't publicly available for research at the time.

But since you were told the records were "all gone," it's possible your parents' records were among those burned in the NPRC fire in 1973 (see http://archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/fire-1973.html)

You probably should contact the NPRC to confirm whether service records exist for your parents. See http://archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/#contact for contact information.
Diane
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