FINDING INDIVIDUAL VETERAN RESEARCH HELP
FIRST AND FOREMOST, we want to help you find the information regarding your loved one that served in WWII. That is why we have assembled the following information and ways to find the information you are looking for. While we have found many resources to find answers to your questions, we are sorry that we not able to research all of the individual requests we receive.
IF YOU KNOW THE BOMB OR FIGHTER GROUP there are historians at these two places that will help you with your research.
- Begin your search questions at the ArmyAirForces.com site.Click on the Group Number Range: [1 to 49], [50 to 99], [100 to 199], [300 to 399], [400 to 499] [500 to 599] [800+]
These web sites and forums contain specialized group historians that will help you find the data you need for your research.
- Check to see if there is a website for that Bomb/Fighter Group: CLICK HERE
Many of the active group websites have historians that will help you.
IF YOU DON"T KNOW THE PERSON'S BOMB OR FIGHTER GROUP NUMER THEN:
Family members is good place to start your research. Gather all the information you can, such as letters, stories, newspaper clippings, grave markers, etc. Knowing the person's army serial number, bomb/fighter group affiliation, hometown, date of birth and place and date of death are important for continued research.
- Check the records at the National Archivesí on-line database at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/
Hometown newspapers often listed when they graduated from boot camp, completed training phases, were promoted, sometimes even in action overseas. Most certainly if MIA or KIA will be listed in their local newspaper.
Check with The American Air Museum in Duxford, England by Clicking here. They have the largest database of 8thAAF personnel.
- Another great site for deceased veterans is FindaGrave.com. Often you find their WWII history too.
If the veteran you are searching for was killed in action and is still buried overseas then they should be listed at American Battle Monuments Commission WWII Honor Roll
If your veteran is buried in a national cemetery then check the Department of Veterans Affairs: National Cemetery Administration - Nationwide Gravesite Locator
Try Google.com and search by name, by Army Serial Number or name and serial number.
If you know nothing, go to the WWII Army Enlistment Records There you can find their serial number, residence state, etc.
If you are a military veteran, or Next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military can Request Military Service Records Online, or by Mail, or by Fax. Otherwise use the Military Record Requests Using Standard Form 180 (SF-180)
If you find or have the Army Serial Number then go to Military Service Records for info on how to request DD-214 discharge documents from St. Louis.
If he was a POW, go to the World War II Prisoners of War Data File This will give date of capture and where he was held. To learn about the different Stalag Lufts in Europe, go to http://www.b24.net/pow
If you know the plane name and if it was a B-24, it might be listed at http://b24bestweb.com/ This might also give the bomb group.
MIAs never found or recovered can be found at Service Personnel Not Recovered
IF YOUR ARE LOOKING FOR A PARTICULAR GROUP, BASE, TARGET or MISSION INFORMSTION: Click here.
ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENT RESEARCH RESOURCES
National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records: This is where you obtain Service Records (201 file) located in St. Louis. Note that a fire in 1973 destroyed many records, nearly 80% of them. You'll need their Standard Form 180 and an understanding of the Privacy Act of 1974.
With access to a printer and the Adobe Acrobat Reader software available below, you may download and print a copy of the Standard Form 180 - Request Pertaining to Military Records. The front and back of the form are separate files which must be downloaded separately. NOTE: Please download both sides of the form as the back of the form contains important mailing addresses and instructions.
The Standard Form 180 is formatted for legal size paper (8.5" X 14"), please print that way if your printer can accomodate. If your printer can only print on letter size paper (8.5" X 11"), select "shrink to fit" when the Adobe Acrobat Reader "Print" dialog box appears.
Mailing address for Military Personnel Records National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Form for the 293 file, Individual Deceased Personnel File: If the individual you are researching was killed in action, the disinterment file will have information about the identification and reburial process. The U.S. Total Army Personnel Command handles these requests.
Mailing address for Individual Deceased Personnel File
Army Human Resources Command
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22332
National Archives: MACR's, KU-Reports, Tactical Mission Summaries, replies may take two to four months. Records pertaining to the military in W.W.II are maintained at National Archives at College Park, MD (Archives II).
Mailing address for MACR'S,KU Reports and Tactical Mission Summaries.
National Archives and Records Administration
Textual Reference Branch
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) : Located at Maxwell AFB Alabama. A great potential source for unit information and for purchasing microfilm records. Replies may take five to six months, but the wait is well worth it.
Mailing address for unit information and for purchasing microfilm records
600 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, Alabama 36112-6424
Phone (334) 953-2437 FAX (334) 953-4096
Air Force History Support Office (AFHSO): Located at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. In conjunction with the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, which is the primary repository of historical information, the office responds to requests for information from private organizations, government agencies, and the general public.
Mailing address for the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA)
Reference and Analysis Division
200 McChord Street, Box 94
Bolling AFB, DC 20332-1111
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Phone (800) 827-1000: The VA has procedures to help you find surviving service members.
OTHER USEFUL RESEARCH WEB SITES
Lynn.Gamma@maxwell.af.mil.To request documents or information from AFHRA
http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/eightairforce.html. Penn state Special Collections Library; the 8th Air Force Collection
http://aad.archives.gov/aad/ .National Archivesí on-line database of WWII enlistment records and POW records.
http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/. Information for researchers about the National Archives at College Park, MD, including how to contact the staff
http://armyairforces.com/. Very helpful researcher forum plus databases for MACRs, units, Military Occupational Specialties, and a dictionary of terms used in WWII.
http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1. Database of all persons buried in a national or state veterans cemetery. Can be used to determine if there was a group burial.
http://www.abmc.gov/. Web site of the American Battle Monuments Commission, including information on all US military cemeteries overseas and a database of burial listings
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbaf.htm. Database of Aircraft Accident Reports, searchable by pilotís name, date, location, aircraft serial number, group, squadron, and home base
http://www.collingsfoundation.org/cf_schedule-wof.htm. Tour schedule for the Collings Foundationís B-24 and B-17
http://www.csn.ul.ie/~dan/war/crashes.htm. Foreign aircraft that landed in Ireland 1939-1946
http://www.adoptiegraven-margraten.nl/englisch/index1.htm. Association for Adopting of Graves at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margrate, The Netherlands
http://www.axpow.org/. American Ex-Prisoners of War Organization
http://www.aafcollection.info/. Training manuals, postcards, and documents about the U.S.A.A.F. in WWII.
http://www.486th.org/Photos/Misc/CallSigns.htm. Bomb Group call signs
http://historylink101.com/ww2_color/index.html. Color photos of the U.S.A.A.F in WWII
http://www.merkki.com/.Information about Stalag Luft I, including a prisoner roster
http://www.heritageleague.org/. For family members and friends of 2nd Air Division veterans
www.B24.net. Web site of the 392nd Bomb Group, but also has a comprehensive section on POW camps
POW Stalag Luft 4. Greg Hatton's reseach on Stalag Luft 4Donít overlook internet searches by Airplane Serial Number or Name; Group or Squadron number; specific POW camp; or individualís name.