Welcome to the additional resources page for my book series Stories from the World War II Battlefield. Military files can be so lengthy, it is impossible to include everything in a book. I hope the resources here provide additional context and assistance as you work through the books.
- World War II Toolbox
- NPRC 1973 Fire – Full explanation
- Requesting Service Files from the NPRC
- Guide to Federal Records at the National Archives (alphabetical)
Documenting Your Sources
- Bibme – ALA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian
- Evidence Explained – Based on the genealogy source book by Elizabeth Shown Mills
The Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), sometimes referred to as a service file, is held at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO. These records document the enlistment, training, service, discharge or death of a soldier, sailor, or Marine. All files are similar yet different across the branches. It is important to know in 1973 there was a fire at the NPRC which destroyed approximately 80% of the Army and Air Corps/Army Air Forces records. You can read more about the fire here. I have found hiring a researcher to follow through with requests for OMPFs and Morning Reports for Army and Air Corps has yielded better results than contacting NPRC for a search.
Captain Paul White (ARMY)
George T. Howe (NAVY)
Hazel Clark (Coast Guard SPAR)
Elvis Spotts (Merchant Marine)
Casualty records are any record created to document the wounds or deaths of soldiers, sailors, and Marines. Please explore the files across all branches listed here to see the similarities and differences between files.
- You can find names, serial numbers, KIA dates, burial or Table of the Missing information, and serial numbers here for those buried in military cemeteries overseas.
Fold3.com Veterans Affairs Burial Files (BIRLS)
- (Free to use. This documents veterans who died after the war.)
Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPFs)
Tom, Bernard “Bernie” (ARMY – ETO)
Paul J. Wisniewski (ARMY – ETO)
Frank Knaus (ARMY – ETO)
James Privoznik (ARMY – ETO)
Clarkson Russell (ARMY POW)
Hiatt, Richard E (ARMY – PTO)
Davis, Fred (ARMY AIR FORCES – ETO)
Dickerson, Minor L (ARMY AIR FORCES – PTO)
John Cox (ARMY AIR FORCES – PTO)
George T. Howe, Jr. (NAVY)
Ivan Rogers (NAVY)
Richard Courtleigh (USMC)
William Cowart (USMC)
Elvis Spotts (MERCHANT MARINES)
Alfred Chaskin (Civilian)
Fred Boyer (Civilian War Correspondent)
USMC Casualty Cards
Records created in the field refer to more of Company level records or those records created while the soldier, sailor, or Marine was in the field. These records often help researchers recreate a timeline of service, which is necessary before reviewing unit level records. Soldiers were not always in the same unit the entire war. Knowing what units and when is important before a researcher chases the wrong lead and wastes a lot of time and money on the incorrect research.
Army, Air Corps/Army Air Forces, National Guard Morning Reports
Morning Reports Nov. 1943 (Fred Davis)
Army After Action Reports
Army Air Forces Accident Reports (AAR) and Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR)
Accident Report (Emil Ratay)
Accident Report (Fred Davis)
MACR #1143 (Fred Davis)
Navy Air Accident Reports
Navy Deck Logs
Unit level records can provide enormous details on where a soldier, sailor or Marine was, and what was happening in the field. These records are primarily held at the National Archives in College Park, MD, but may also appear in World War II museums, branch-specific museums, archives, Presidential Libraries, research libraries, division or unit websites, and private collections. These are only a few examples of the research potential available in the United States.
Air Force Mission Reports and Unit Records
There are some great examples of many Air Force reports on the 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) website.
More examples can be found on the Netherlands Escape Lines website. This Loading List is from the 385th Bombardment Group.
USMC Casualty Cards
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