Why doesn’t information show up on the day it happened?It is rare for the information of a soldier’s wound, Prisoner of War (POW) status, Missing In Action (MIA) status, Killed In Action (KIA) status, illness, or transfer (among other things) to appear on a report the day it happened. Word had to move up the line from the source (hospital, Red Cross, soldier’s buddies, Graves Registration Service, etc.) to the clerk creating the records. Always look past the day an event happened. In the case of one soldier I researched in the 2nd Infantry Division, he and three other men were KIA on 15 June 1944 in France. They did not appear on a Morning Report as KIA until 11 July 1944. We need to remember during certain times, think major campaigns or battles, that many men were changing status due to wounds, POW, MIA, or KIA. Men were also coming into the companies to replace those who were no longer part of the company. The clerk had a lot of work to do each day to record all these changes. Throughout the chaos of battle, information also may have been lost or taken longer to reach the man in charge of the records.
Why do some Morning Reports not exist?There are many reasons WWII records do not exist. They may include but are not limited to the following.
- Flood/water damage
- Chemicals or other spilled on the records
- Records were in a vehicle, plane, ship, building which was destroyed during the war
- Left behind when a unit moved and never recovered
- Purposely destroyed by a unit during the war
- Purposely destroyed by the archives after the war