Military Service Records?

This is a discussion on Military Service Records? within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My great uncle was killed in the Battle of the Bulge during WWII, but that is all much of my family seems to know. My ...

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Thread: Military Service Records?

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    Military Service Records?

    My great uncle was killed in the Battle of the Bulge during WWII, but that is all much of my family seems to know. My parents, my sister, and I are spending a few weeks in Europe in the summer, and a considerable part of that will be spent in Normandy, with two days in the Ardennes. The whole time we will have a personal guide that will pretty much show us whatever we want.

    What we would really like to do is figure out what division or unit he was with to try and get a sense of how he fit into this battle, as well as to try and figure out what area of the region to visit.

    Knowledge of these details is limited in the family, but we are in touch with my great aunt that kept everything during the war hoping for some details.

    We have his service number, any tips on finding this info online? If it is even possible.

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    MJK
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    Start here: Military Personnel Records

    If you discover the division he served in then you should be able to find out what regiment and company he was with. From that point do some Internet research to find if a unit history is available.

    Good luck, and let us know what you find out about your great uncle's service.
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    ^^^^^^^^

    That is your best bet, for starts.

    They actually have a new section up I just found which is searchable by name. I tried it a couple weeks ago and found my fathers serial number and date and place of induction. (I use him because I have the information and can check the accuracy.)
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    Good luck to you, back in 1984 the archives in St Louis caught fire and many records were lost including my fathers. Although it is a pay to use site there is one called Fold3 - Historical military records where I have been able to find some info on my father.
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    ^^^^Ditto, sadly. My Dad died a few years ago, and was a WWII veteran of the Army Air Corps, before there was a U.S. Air Force. We filed a request under the FOIA but all we got was "unfortunately the records requested were all lost in the St. Louis fire." Amazing how the low tech world managed to survive so long with single points of failure like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
    ^^^^Ditto, sadly. My Dad died a few years ago, and was a WWII veteran of the Army Air Corps, before there was a U.S. Air Force..
    If he joined after June 1941, he would have been in the Army Air Force, the "Air Corps" being dropped at that time. Of course, it took years for folks to stop referring to it as the Air Corps. The USAF began in Sept. 1947.
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    The fire is something that we were aware of going into this, but we are holding out hope. Would the notice he was KIA or his Purple Heart have come with any of the information we are looking for? This is assuming that the family still has it, but that is more likely still around than the government records.

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    He enlisted in 1941, but before June. He had graduated HS in 1940 and from what little I remember, everyone knew what was coming and enlisting was better than waiting to be drafted. Hmm, sounds familiar. Different country, different era, same old story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever View Post
    ^^^^Ditto, sadly. My Dad died a few years ago, and was a WWII veteran of the Army Air Corps, before there was a U.S. Air Force. We filed a request under the FOIA but all we got was "unfortunately the records requested were all lost in the St. Louis fire." Amazing how the low tech world managed to survive so long with single points of failure like that.
    Check and see if you can find anything here, World War II Records, it might not be want you want, but possibly a starting point. Some records are not from the Army Records Center, but places like Selective Service. I was looking for the data base I found a couple weeks ago and if I recall it ran from something like 1938 through 1946, which might give you a where and when your fathers service started. It is searchable by name!
    Rick

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    Check the family for his letter from the president. Each one killed in battle received a letter indicating day and location of death. Also check for returned mail most families keep the letters returned marked deceased. The address on the envelope will have his unit he was serving in. The government records were destroyed in a fire for my family members I wish you good luck and walking the fields of honor is always a good way to spend time.

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