The National Archives-St. Louis is in the process of receiving large portions of the Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPF) created by the U.S. Army to document deaths in service that occurred during the period 1939-1976. Eventually the National Archives-St. Louis will hold all of the records. By early February 2017, it will have received approximately half of the records that cover the period ca. 1939-1954. These records were maintained by the Army in an alphabetical arrangement, and selected files in this group are being digitized by the Defense Prisoner-of-War/Missing-in-Action Accounting Agency (DPAA). DPAA has completed their digitization of the A-L portion of the alphabet, and these records along with the post-Korean War files (1954-1976), which are NOT being digitized, are currently being shipped to St. Louis from the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) in Suitland, Maryland. To date (November 18, 2016), the National Archives-St. Louis has received five (5) of eight (8) tractor trailer shipments; the 8th and final load is due to be received the first week of February 2017. The remainder of the 1939-1954 alphabetical group will be received as DPAA completes its digitization project over the next few years.It should be noted that the Army’s Graves Registration Service had responsibility for dealing with the remains of deceased personnel from all branches of the military until well into the 1950s or early 1960s. As a result, records for deceased members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and independent Air Force may be included among the earlier files. Furthermore, it must be emphasized that DPAA’s digitizing effort has been conducted for its own business purposes and does not involve comprehensive scanning of these records. Only selected files, and in many cases only portions of selected files, have been scanned. The only complete instance of this records series exists in the original paper files that have been transferred to the National Archives.
I received the following from an archivist at NPRC regarding my prior post about the IDPF availability change. I also understand the servers at Ft. Knox which hold the IDPFs are still down. It’s been about two months and we are still waiting to find out when these files will be available again.