Skip to comments.How do I access my Grandfather's war record?
Posted on 12/01/2011 2:21:45 PM PST by MistrX
My Grandfather was a Marine in the South Pacific in WWII. My Mom has no details as he never talked about his experiences. I would like to know where was posted, etc. Can anybody help me with this? Thanks.
I’d like to learn more of my grandfather’s time in Europe as well.
From what I understand there was a fire some years ago in one location where military personnel records were stored so some were lost. Hopefully you won’t run into that problem.
If that information is publicly available, you should be able to get that information straight from the DoD.
I, myself, have had great luck on linked website to my Grandfather’s Navy muster rolls. He was on the USS Ramsay in the mid 40’s. Registration was free, but I believe is limited to the info. It was enough for me, so I never bothered with the paid subscription.
You can write to the government for the records.
Unfortunately a huge amount of records from the war in the Pacific were lost in a fire in St. Louis, MO a few decades ago. My father fought on Luzon and other Islands in the Pacific. Then he was part of the army of occupation for Japan. He has a number of Bronze Battle Stars, 4 I think. He died before I ever was smart enough to make him tell me about his war experience. When I was young all he would ever do and say when I asked him about the war is “you can’t begin to imagine how cruel people can be to each other in a war”. My dad was a Democrat. The day I told him I was a Republican (when I was about 25) he looked at me like I wasn’t his.
Just google military records US Government.
PS: google is your friend (for searches anyway).
Good luck. I couldn’t get any info regarding my dad’s time in WWII.
They said something about having a flood and a lot of information got ruined....then sent me the same form to fill out.
I must have sent it 3 times and kept getting a new one back requesting the same info.
If you have any luck, please let me know. Thnx =)
Thank you for this information. I have never looked up my late father’s service information and this is very helpful.
Go on line and look up SF180 and you can request reissue of Metals and some other things but you might need his DD214. If you know his unit you can get a history of his unit. Ancestry.com has a 14 day free trial and you can look lots of stuff.
Oops, not a flood, a fire.
There is a form to fill out and sent to National Personnel Records Center 9700 Page Ave. St. Louis MO 63121-5100
You should know his service number.
Your Congress critter can also be of assistance here.
The fire destroyed records there on 7-12-73 [including mine] but I was able to get copy of discharge and medical records from unit Morning Reports which were maintained elsewhere. If medals are noted on the discharge, they will send them. They also suggested contacting the VA if they have any medical records 1800-827-1000.
Thanks. My Dad’s records are there. Pretty interesting.
Interested myself. I have hunches my father in law was a Chosin Reservoir Marine. I would love to verify that in his honor.
If you go to that site it will lead you to request the records after you provide certain info (grandfather’s name etc). I got my grandfather’s service record from WWI. Found out his job was “wagoneer” and even found out what awards he received.
Does anybody know where I can find that video of the giant swastika on a gymnasium getting blown up? One that shows the tank and soldiers that were there, I’m fairly sure the soldier holding the bazooka is a relative of mine.
I also had some relatives on my father's side who fought for the Canadians, one of them died as a result of a gas attack.
Thanks for bringing this subject up. I’ve always wanted to know what my grandfather was in the Army.
Guess he made it to Master Sergeant.... Pretty cool! Wish I was able to meet him more than once in his lifetime. I bet he had some great stories!
You will probably not get much besides a “Certificate of Service” because of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_National_Archives_Fire
What was his unit? Some FreePs here are “pretty” smart and may be able to assist you.
That’s what I did last year and I got my granspas entire service record, and 2 pictures. The picture I got is posted in my profile.
My uncle died in WWII. I began 10 years ago researching his time in the war and his death. He was with the Army Air Corps, 8th Air Force, stationed in England. I had his service number and the local vet center requested his military records for me. Unfortunately, his records were burned in the St. Louis fire, but they were able to obtain some very basic info for me from other areas of the government.
Since I knew his bomb group and his bomb squadron numbers, I was able to go on-line and connect with that group of veterans. Through this group I was able to obtain the official Combat Diary of his squadron. Since I also knew the dates of the missions he had flown, I was able to match that up with the combat diary and learn more about the 19 missions he flew.
I noticed on the link provided in post 2 above that it said the records of the Marines were not affected by the fire so maybe you can obtain his records through that link. I had not heard this before, but it said in that link that only the AAC and Army records were burned.
Since my uncle died in the war and I am the next of kin, I was able to obtain his IDPF (Individual Deceased Personnel File), which is supposedly everything the government knew about his death - it was very enlightening. Also I obtained the MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) of his final mission.
Good luck in your search. I hope you can find info on your grandfather.
My dad died in Korea in 53 and had a terrible time finding out anything (did all the stuff already mentioned) somehow I found on the internet someone who could get me all the records for about $50..I can’t remember the website but if you google war records I bet you ‘d find it. In the meantime I will look around tomorrow and see if I can get an address or something from what I have.
Hey, I just got a message on FB from ancestry.com. It said the site has the records of Navy people on ships during that time period. Might be worth checking into. Good luck.
I can take a look on ancestry.com for you if you’d like. You can FReepmail me the information.
I have an uncle who was at Okinawa. To this day he will only say “I had some good friends and lost a few too.” He won’t elaborate on the battle and despises the Japanese still. He refuses to go back to Hawaii even because he went in the ‘60’s and said “too damn many Japs there now.” I’ve read a lot about the battle but got nothing firsthand. I’d like to hear more about it all before he dies. He’s in his late ‘80’s now.
The vast majority of Army and Air Corps personnel files were lost in the ‘73 fire. There are folks that specialize in reconstructing the records of individual veterans, tracing their steps through the war and showing where they were and what they did during the war. Here is one such group: www.goldenarrowresearch.com
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.