Any ideas on how to find out some information on a relative who served during WWII?
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I would like to know if there are any good ways to go about looking up information on my great-grand uncle (Brother of my great grandmother) who served during WWII. I'm not ...show more
Suggest that you request his military records from either the Military Dept in St. Louis or the National Archives. As an aside, a copy of his entire record was sent to the county he discharged to , most people don't know this and it is usually retained in the Recorders office.
Genealogical researcher 40+ years, Anthropologists & retired instructor
Other Answers (4)Rated Highest
The site might mean that you have to be the next of kin to the the veteran, it could be worth explaining the circumstances and your relationship to him and seeing if the information could be made available to you.
If he was discharged directly after the war - his records will be archival (most likely).
In addition to the other good answers (contacting the county recorder, etc) file a request with NPRC. They MAY or MAY NOT, charge you a fee. I've requested several records (on multiple occasions) for my grandfather's late brother who was KIA on D-Day. I have never been charged. All the 'valid' (i.e. my grandfather, etc) next of kin are deceased but because it was archival, it was released to me.
Don't get your hopes up, it's possible the records were destroyed in the 1973 fire but it never hurts to make an inquiry. In that case they usually 'reconstruct' the records with discharge papers or other submitted documents. (I obtained my grandfather & my late grandmother's discharge paperwork from the county recorder which I sent along with my initial request to NPRC.) Include as much info as you can as it will expedite the response time for your request.
You can look up WWII Army Enlistments at the online NARA website:http://aad.archives.gov/aad/
click on WWII. It will give you the place enlisted and his "native" home or county and state he lived in at the time of his enlistment. As well as his all important Military Service Number.
Also click on "Military Personnel" and do a search of his name.
Now if he was a Marine, they are connected to the Navy and I know Ancestry has some Marine and Naval Enlistment databases.
Is he buried in a Veteran's Cemetery? Look here:http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/
If he never married then next of kin can be nephews but there maybe a fee involved in getting a copy of his service record. You need to be a more direct next of kin to get a free copy. Unless they have changed the regulation since i got my father's and grandfather's records.
Other website you may glean information from:
http://www.usgenweb.org/ click on state enlisted from or lived in. Then the county once you get to the state.
https://familysearch.org/#p=home see if any other records available that can help.
If you know the state and city he moved to after his discharge check the local county court house to see if he filed a copy of his DD214 (discharge papers) with the county recorders or family court office. All Veterans were encouraged to do so, so if they lost their copies they could access the copy there to get future G.I. Benefits, state and Federal, as they were enacted.
Ancestry and Fold3 have Military databases, either subscribe yourself or see if your local library or LDS Family History Center has them to use.