Abbreviations, codes, numbers, and ……. confusion.
Is this how you feel sometimes when you are looking for World War II information?
Sometimes the most difficult part of starting World War I or World War II research is locating vital pieces of information to move a search forward. This is especially important if the Official Military Personnel File burned. Are you looking for information on a service man or woman’s service number, unit, enlistment and discharge dates? The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO, has a great resource for World War I and World War II researchers. The VA Index.
The VA Index
The VA Index is available for World War I and World War II service members. What is on the Index and why do you need it?
- Full name of soldier, sailor, or Marine
- Unit in which they served (not always on the card.)
- ENL: Date of enlistment
- DIS: Date of discharge (often if the soldier was KIA, the death date is written on the card.)
- SN: Service/serial number
- A lot of letter codes with numbers. World War I cards may have more letters than World War II. There are many more codes than this, but these are the commonly seen ones on these cards.
- C: Veterans Claim number
- XC: Prefix X indicates veteran is deceased.
- K: US Government Life Insurance. Issued when veterans converted their War Risk term (T) insurance into permanent policies or made direct application for this type of insurance.
- N: National Service Life Insurance. Term insurance issued veterans during WWII.
- V: National Service Life Insurance. This type of policy was issued when veterans converted their term insurance (N) or made the initial application permanent.
- I: Permanent or Total Disability Claim or death payment of term insurance (WWI ONLY)
- A: Adjusted Compensation (Bonus)
- T: War Risk Insurance (WWI ONLY)
- R: Rehabilitation (WWI ONLY)
- CT: WWI Certificate (issued with bonus)
- Z: Merchant Marine service number prefix.
Request a search
The VA Index is searchable by NPRC staff for a fee of about $5. Just mail a letter to
1 Archives Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63138
What other resources have you used to start your World War I or World War II research? Please share in the comments.
© 2016 Jennifer Holik