Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why Can't I Find My Uncle's US World War II Military Record of Service?

The official  answer to this common question is provided by the website of the National Personnel Records Center.

41 years ago on July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at the National PersonnelRecords Center (NPRC) destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF). The records affected were:

Personnel and Period Affected
Estimated Loss
Personnel discharged November 1, 1912 to January 1, 1960
Air Force
Personnel discharged September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964
(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)
and some U.S. Army Reserve personnel who performed their initial active duty for training in the late 1950s but who received final discharge as late 1964.
There were no losses to the records of Navy and Marine Corps military records.
The NPRC web page also  has  helpful links in the left-hand  column for Requesting Military Records and for Genealogy which will connect to an informative article: Genealogy Research in Military Records.

In addition, one's local library may subscribe to the Ancestry.com  Library  Edition which links to an  Ancestry Anne blog entry  which lists available collections of American military records and explains why one's relative may not yet show up in World War II Draft Registration cards.