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Vanity - How do you find the WWII service record of a deceased relative?
8/13/2013 | Self

Posted on 08/13/2013 8:22:42 AM PDT by Slump Tester

My mother's brother recently passed away. I know he saw a lot of combat in Europe and liberated several camps. Unfortunately, that's about all I know, as Uncle Stanley never talked about the war, and we weren't allowed to ask him about it.

Whenever I see a movie about the war in Europe, I always wonder if that was his unit, if he was in that battle, etc...

Is there any way to find any of this out?


TOPICS: VetsCoR
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I figured FR would be a great place to ask this question. I'd like to find the records for my late father as well. These men gave up several years of their life for us, and now they're gone. It just doesn't seem right to not know their histories and contributions to pass on to their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
1 posted on 08/13/2013 8:22:42 AM PDT by Slump Tester
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To: Slump Tester

This might help: http://www.archives.com/ga.aspx?_act=ancestorsearch&klp=GA13002&cam=853&KW2=Military&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&msid=Orh4fuxg|pcrid|1522238141|pkw|world%20war%20II%20military%20records|pmt|b

I have never looked at the site, but your question makes me curious, as my father, fatherIN, and motherIL all served, my mom was to young but worked for the Red Cross.
These people all did what was need to do.


2 posted on 08/13/2013 8:25:49 AM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: Slump Tester
Bump for reference.
3 posted on 08/13/2013 8:25:59 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature ($1.84 - The price of a gallon of gas on Jan. 20th, 2009.)
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To: Slump Tester

Oh, sorry. It looks like you have to pay for the search.


4 posted on 08/13/2013 8:26:40 AM PDT by svcw (Stand or die)
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To: Slump Tester

Ping for later. Dad’s dog-tag number is seared in my memory; he used it as his license plate number for years.


5 posted on 08/13/2013 8:27:26 AM PDT by pingman (Trust a lib? Surely you jest!)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature

Bumping for later ref too


6 posted on 08/13/2013 8:28:12 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Slump Tester

You need a copy of his DD-214 form. I suggest you Google (or Bing or ...) something like, “Need a relative’s DD-214” and you’ll find many places that offer the service, like this one ... http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/


7 posted on 08/13/2013 8:28:56 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Slump Tester

Do you have his service number? That will make it a lot easier.


8 posted on 08/13/2013 8:29:54 AM PDT by justlurking (tagline removed, as demanded by Admin Moderator)
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To: svcw

Great reference. The same route I used for my dad’s records.

One key - I had his service number from his dog tags but they asked for his social security number as well to focus their record search.


9 posted on 08/13/2013 8:30:14 AM PDT by llevrok ("It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words....." - Geo. Orwell)
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To: Slump Tester

This is a for profit site but I think you can get a free trial. I used it to look up my Dad’s WWII service record and found his discharge papers there (on the free trial)

http://www.fold3.com/

Good luck!


10 posted on 08/13/2013 8:31:12 AM PDT by PeteePie (Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people - Proverbs 14:34)
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To: Slump Tester

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/

If you go to the above site you can print out a request for the records. I got my grandfather’s records from WWI. It’s very interesting to learn that such a mellow man that I called “Grandpa” served in the Great War. It also revealed to me the awards he received, what unit he was in and what his job was (wagoneer).

Good luck!


11 posted on 08/13/2013 8:31:12 AM PDT by rfreedom4u (I have a copy of the Constitution! And I'm not afraid to use it!)
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The national archives does the search for free, btw

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/


12 posted on 08/13/2013 8:33:04 AM PDT by llevrok ("It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words....." - Geo. Orwell)
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To: Slump Tester

ping.
I was named after my father’s younger brother that died at during WWII.
I have no idea where though.

I even have the flag that covered his coffin when his remains were returned.


13 posted on 08/13/2013 8:39:05 AM PDT by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: Slump Tester

I am a VFW Post Adjutant. You can go to your local VFW Post and visit them. You will find plenty of veterans, including some still living WWII vets that will gladly help you with finding out more about your relative.

Go to:

Just enter your zip code.

https://www.vfw.org/oms/findpost.aspx


14 posted on 08/13/2013 8:39:34 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: Slump Tester
If you have name and service number you can fill out a SF 180 and even get reissued awards and medals of a relative. Sometimes you can do a search for their unit and age a good history. You may be able to fill out the SF 180 online and send it it in.
15 posted on 08/13/2013 8:45:48 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Slump Tester

Another quick suggestion for you is to use the Ancestry Database and spend some time searching the military record results for a matching name. When you find a match to your relative then go to your local public library, (first check if they have a subscription to Ancestry), then go the the Ancestry Database at the library and look up the information.

Start here:

http://www.ancestry.com/cs/us/militaryrecords


16 posted on 08/13/2013 8:49:34 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: Slump Tester
I'd start with the free sources (see post #12) and also sign up for a free two week trial with ancestry.com

Another totally free site is familysearch.org

It is very helpful to know the particulars (SSN, birth date and place, death date and place, etc.) before you begin your search.

It isn't unusual that these old World War II vets don't like to talk about their service. My father was the same way. He had nothing to be ashamed of, it is just that talking about things brought back painful memories of stuff like shipmates being blown away or picking up bodies off the Iwo Jima and Okinawa beaches.

Once in a great while, he would volunteer this information, usually when he had my brothers and I off on a fishing and camping trip or we were alone together on a long road trip.

He never would tell me why he washed out of the Naval Air Corps, after being one of the first to volunteer for that dangerous unit after Pearl Harbor. So many of that early group died at Coral Sea, Midway and those early naval battles where aircraft dominated.

17 posted on 08/13/2013 8:51:24 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Slump Tester

Apparently there was a huge fire at the National Personal Records Center in St. Louis in 1973 that destroyed most of the records for the Army from 1912 - 1959 and Air Force for Hubbard thru Z 1947 - 1963

Good Luck but I have come to feel that some of this stuff is probably better left undiscovered. My Dad did not want to talk about it either and my Uncle only just before his death. None of it was pretty but they are both heroes in my eyes and will remain forever so. May God Rest their souls and may he protect our men and women currently in harms way that they may never have to endure the horror of another WW.


18 posted on 08/13/2013 8:56:21 AM PDT by infool7 (The ugly truth is just a big lie.)
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To: Slump Tester

There is a good chance his records were lost in the 1973 St Louis fire. good article details what it takes to find out info about veterans from that era

http://www.stripes.com/news/the-painstaking-effort-to-recover-millions-of-burned-military-service-records-1.233869


19 posted on 08/13/2013 8:57:17 AM PDT by Shamrock498
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To: Slump Tester

...for good pointers contact a SO (Service Office) of your local America Legion,VFW...your State also has reps who can help. It will help if you have any info available..DATES,ASSIGNED UNITS,AWARDS,ASSIGNMENT LOCATIONS..


20 posted on 08/13/2013 9:07:50 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Slump Tester

In addition to contacting the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO (archives.gov), I recommend getting a copy of “Finding Your Father’s War: A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II US Army” by Jonathan Gawne.

If you have a copy of his discharge, that is the best place to start. If you do not, check to see if he registered a copy with the county courthouse of his home county. After WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, soldiers were told to place a copy of their discharge with the local county courthouse records section so that one would be on file if they lost their original. In this era of identity theft, this is no longer recommended.


21 posted on 08/13/2013 9:15:44 AM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Slump Tester

I would like more info on my worthless brother-in-law (If you know him he probably owes you money).

He got out of the Navy on a medical discharge, However, I’ve found family letters that he was scheduled for a court martial and a bad conduct discharge.

His father and a congressman managed to get him discharged with a medical discharge.

Back in the 1980s he found that if he played it right, he could get a VA pension, so since then his worthless hide has been sucking at the government tit. He has always had an aversion to WORK and has not worked since Reagan was President.


22 posted on 08/13/2013 9:20:49 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: Slump Tester

Mr/Ms Slump, some possible bad news concerning you relitives’ WW II Records: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Personnel_Records_Center_fire , good luck


23 posted on 08/14/2013 5:32:21 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Slump Tester

Did it ever occur to you that they may not have wanted you or anyone else to know such things?

Tread carefully.

A LOT of WWII vets were EXTREMELY sensitive about their actions and their conduct. In their minds, the war died with them.

They took it to their graves.

Just a suggestion.


24 posted on 08/29/2013 4:10:55 PM PDT by ConradofMontferrat ( According to mudslimz, my handle is a HATE CRIME. And I HOPE they don't like it.)
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