The Lost Naval Papers

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Examples from each subseries follow: The subseries includes medical data concerning the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, including observations on burn victims and a list of casualties and survivors aboard target ship USS Utah classification QW. Since some of the correspondence is based on inquiries, classes of casualties--such as the names of all American sailors who died while serving aboard submarines in the Pacific--are occasionally listed.

The records are arranged chronologically by date of correspondence and include much information about unidentified remains of servicemen. Also included is information about and lists of Navy personnel buried in specific areas, e. There is some chance of finding lists of casualties and burials in specific locations for specific periods, or of finding those associated with specific campaigns, by using the above classifications and the index.

But this file can best be used to supplement information found elsewhere, or as a "last resort" in the absence of information organized for better access according to individual names. The series records relating to the history of naval medicine, 6 ft.

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The former series is arranged according to a numerical classification scheme, a copy of which is located at its beginning; World War II activities are documented under classification The records are arranged thereunder by military campaign, such as "Marshall Islands Operation" or "Ryukyu's Operation," in generally chronological order and thereunder by subject. Many of the records are reports that may be found elsewhere. Although few individuals are mentioned in the records, the subjects covered, such as "wounded aboard ship," "transportation of wounded," and "burial of the dead," often give a vivid picture of the systems, activities, events, and experiences associated with casualties and burials during the campaigns.

Both the European and the Pacific Theaters are covered. History of the Naval Medical Department, 3 vols. Navy Medical Department Administrative History The series is arranged by combat theater Pacific or European and thereunder chronologically. As would be expected of an account of U.

Navy activity, the largest part of the work concerns the war in the Pacific. Within each part are chapters based on specific campaigns such as "The Marshalls" and "Normandy" arranged chronologically. Each chapter consists of a narrative account of the campaign from the viewpoint of the Navy Medical Department detailing the logistics of medical support; special health, disease, or wound problems associated with the campaign; the evacuation of the wounded; and the burial of the dead.

Many photographs are integrated into the volumes, and each chapter contains bibliographic citations to military records and other sources for the narrative, some of which are no longer extant. While these accounts almost invariably do not mention individuals by name, they constitute an excellent eyewitness narrative of the combat of World War II as viewed by those concerned with casualties and burials in the field. Something about the experience of an individual may be learned by consulting that part of the narrative concerning the campaign in which he died or was wounded.

In a few cases more detail will be available in the series described next. The series historical supplements submitted with sanitary reports, 7 ft. The second subseries is arranged roughly alphabetically by shore units or stations, with types of such "barracks," "depot," "hospital," "plant" grouped alphabetically and arranged alphabetically thereunder by separate unit or station name. Some ships are missing, many folders are empty or contain only a cover letter, and less than 20 percent contain more than 20 pages of material.

Those with substance consist of a great variety of kinds of records, including ships plans, published material, "yearbooks," narrative histories, photographs, maps, chronologies, and a very few "first-person accounts. Thus, to use the records profitably, it is mandatory that the researcher know the specific ship, location, or naval unit that gave medical care to an individual. With such knowledge, the chances are fair that something can be learned of the conditions experienced and treatment received by the individual.

Reports relating to rescued survivors of wrecked ships and aircraft, 1 ft. The accounts apply only to those survivors recovered by U. Navy vessels after April , for a total of less than reports. Narratives, transcripts of questionnaire interviews with survivors, and descriptions of wounds and injuries and the immediate medical treatments applied are included. Most of the reports pertain to incidents in the Battle of the Atlantic, but also included are reports of survivors recovered from U. Congress created a Quartermaster's Department under a single Quartermaster General in Specific wartime functions included accounting for and seeing to the proper disposition of the remains of deceased Army personnel.

QMC troop units stationed overseas fell under the command of the various air, ground, or service commands, but the Office of the Quartermaster General generally supervised and inspected their activities. The series classified and unclassified general correspondence relating to places "Geographic File" , ft. These are arranged alphabetically by geographic location and thereunder according to the War Department decimal classification scheme.

Locations overseas and in the United States are alphabetized together, and include cities, states, territories, foreign countries, forts, camps, and military cemeteries. The files for most of the locations include entries for decimals "Funerals, burials, and reports" and Among these are burial lists that give name, service number, and location. Although the names of casualties occasionally appear in other contexts as well, it is absolutely necessary, as it is with the burial lists, to link an individual to a specific place and time to locate a record concerning him.

The series of formerly classified and unclassified general correspondence relating to organizational units "Miscellaneous File" , ft. A similar caveat applies when searching for information on an individual; the key in this series is to know the date and organizational unit relevant to the individual being sought. The series is divided into formerly classified 29 ft.

The following are the most productive for World War II casualty information:. Unclassified general correspondence "Subject File" , 1, ft. Information on individuals is generally lacking and difficult to locate where it does exist, except under decimals and Even in these files it is necessary that the researcher have more information than the individual's name as the basis for the search.

For instance, the subseries contains 18 inches of records under decimal filed thereunder by subject, such as "Congressional cases," "Lost at sea," and "Notification of next of kin" and 1 inch of records under decimal The Memorial Division in the Office of the Quartermaster General was created in to take charge of activities pertaining to the disposition of the Army's dead. This function included the following:.

Rosters of military personnel whose remains were not recovered, 6 ft. The lists are arranged alphabetically by surname of the decedent. The rosters show the name of the decedent, his rank, his branch and arm of service, and the date and general geographic area in which death occurred.

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Interment control forms, ft. These forms were used as records of control over burials and lots in national cemeteries of deceased military personnel and their dependents. The forms contain information such as the name of the decedent; his or her date of birth; the date of death; the place of burial and location of the gravesite; the next of kin; the name of the chaplain officiating at the burial; the type of religious emblem on the headstone; and data concerning the decedent's military service, such as dates, grade, regiment, division, and awards.

These maps show the row and grave numbers where U. Each entry on the map gives the last name, first and middle initials, and service number of the decedent. The charts are arranged by a numeric scheme, but all charts for one cemetery are not always filed together. An appendix in the records lists cemeteries included in the series. The series applications for headstones, ft.

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The series consists of forms accumulated in connection with the provision of headstones for the unmarked graves of honorably discharged veterans and those who died while on active duty. The forms include information such as the name of the decedent, dates of birth and death, the name and location of the cemetery, the type of religious emblem requested, and the name and address of the applicant and his or her relationship to the deceased.

Also included is information concerning the decedent's military service, such as dates of enlistment and discharge, grade, service number, company, regiment, and division. In October , Headquarters, Army Air Forces AAF undertook a 7-month study of the methods used in World War I to account for airmen reported missing in action and of the sources currently available for the same job. The MACR was also designed to relate that information to facts obtained later and from other sources, with the aim of determining the ultimate fate of missing personnel.

The War Department approved the AAF recommendation, and on May 23, , the Adjutant General directed that within 48 hours of an official finding that an aircraft or any member of its crew was missing and had last been seen in combat or over enemy-held territory, an MACR be prepared by the station from which the aircraft had departed. These forms were then sent to Headquarters, AAF, in small batches and numbered consecutively there. These forms were a valuable part of the Quartermaster Department's postwar program to identify missing American military personnel.

Most of the reports of missing air crews [MACRs], ft. A few were also prepared, more or less "after the fact," for crashes that had occurred before the MACR formwas institutionalized in May The reports in the series are arranged numerically in case files. It should be emphasized that the dates in the series title, , refer to the timespan of the investigations, not to the dates of the aircraft losses themselves; the series covers only wartime losses plus a very few that occurred immediately after the end of hostilities.

The MACRs generally are used best in conjunction with other records but in a very few cases may be the only documentation available concerning a given individual. Four indexes to MACRs are available, arranged according to the following:. The indexes indicate the number of the MACR in which the indexed term is found. Index entries occasionally contain "extra" information, such as the service number of an individual crew member. The reports themselves have been microfilmed by the National Archives and are available for reproduction. Only the name index has been microfilmed.

Typically an MACR gives some or all of the following kinds of information about each crew member:. Some case files include the names of persons with some knowledge of the aircraft's last flight. In some cases these are rescued or returned crew members. Few reports contain the full range of information, especially those prepared in and in The MACRs are arranged numerically in case files from 1 to 16,, with a small incidence of irregularities and gaps in the numbering.

The duplication of numbers was rectified with the addition of suffixes--"a,b,c," etc. Only about of the case files are actually missing.

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Anotherseries, lists of Allied air crashes, Sept. Information in each record includes the time of the crash, the type of craft, craft identification numbers or symbols if available , the general location of the crash, and reference numbers from pertinent German records. The lists are mostly of British and American aircraft. This series generally contains very little information beyond that found in the MACR case files.

Unfortunately there is no way to find correspondence on a given individual using the MACRs. For access methods to that correspondence, see its description. The series records relating to the selection and interment of the unknown soldiers for World War II and the Korean War, 9 ft. Included are reports on disinterments that originated in overseas commands.

SGO formulated medical policies for the Army as a whole and supervised the activities of the Medical Department and its many administrative and professional services. Specific responsibilities of the Surgeon General's command included conservation of manpower through such measures as adequate medical and surgical treatment and suitable hospitalization and reconditioning.

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SGO oversaw these activities throughout the Army and exercised direct command over various medical installations in the United States e. Medical staff sections of Army field commands and specialized medical troop units, however, were subordinated to their respective field headquarters.

Wartime records of SGO largely comprise central files, but annual and other reports from medical units under field commands are also in this record group. Also, records of many medical staff sections and field units were withdrawn from command files after the war and loaned to SGO for use in historical studies. Those records that describe illnesses or wounds suffered by individual Army personnel are restricted in their availability because of privacy considerations.

The series correspondence with military installations, commands, and units, and with civilian organizations "Geographic File" , 2, ft. The series contains an abundance of representative information indicating how medical units operated in specific places and times and showing the nature and extent of combat and noncombat casualties in specific campaigns, including medical treatment administered. Information on individuals, however, is scattered and difficult to access by personal names.

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Theseries is arranged in five subseries of chronological blocks. The first four, including those for and approximately ft. Thereunder these four are arranged either alphabetically by unit name or numerically by unit number. The majority of the records in World War II subseries consist of monthly sanitary reports describing conditions, controls, and countermeasures regarding sanitation, medical, and casualty-handling problems. The reports of infantry divisions and evacuation hospitals are most likely to contain data on combat and combat-related casualties.

The fifth subseries, for ft. The records for the Zone of the Interior approximately ft. All of the other geographic designations--China-Burma-India, the Americas, Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and others--account for only 30 feet of records. Each geographic category is arranged according to the War Department decimal scheme. The most profitable focus for the researcher is the Zone of the Interior records, which contain studies of activities in all theaters decimals These records relate to all aspects of wartime medical activities and include histories of individual medical units, programs for treatment of specific problems, and studies of battle casualties suffered by air and ground units some for specific campaigns.

As valuable as the information in the subseries is, however, research is made difficult by the lack of finding aids. It is also clear that a number of files were withdrawn for historical research by SGO with no further indication of their ultimate disposition. Formerly security-classified correspondence with military installations, commands, and units, and with civilian organizations "Geographic File" , 40 ft.

These latter subseries supplement the earlier series to some extent but contain a far greater proportion of records concerning purely administrative matters. Two other series contain information similar to that found in all of the correspondence from RG described above. That is, the series seldom refer to individual casualties by name but in some cases provide a vivid picture of casualty-related matters in a specific location at a specific time or concerning a specific type of casualty or a specific Army medical unit. First are annual reports of divisions of the Surgeon General's Office, 15 ft.

The formats of the reports vary greatly, from lists of activities and accomplishments to detailed narratives supported by photographs, charts, and statistical information.

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The annual reports of components of the Army Medical Department, ft. These reports are similar to the preceding series in variety and content but are generally more detailed. The majority of reports concern the European Theater and the Southwest Pacific Area, but entries are also found for all other theaters and areas abroad. This series is closely related to and complemented by the "Humeds" file in Record Group see p. The American Battle Monuments Commission ABMC , created by an act of March 4, , erects and maintains memorials at suitable sites except in national cemeteries , commemorating the services of American Armed Forces since April 6, ABMC also designs, constructs, administers, and maintains permanent American military cemeteries located outside the United States and its possessions and maintains at overseas cemeteries rosters of burials and of persons recorded as missing.

Most of that information is easily available from the Commission itself or from the publication cited above. The records consist of all or part of the following five series:. Records concerning the construction of the Pacific War Memorial, 10 in. The records are arranged chronologically. Letters received, 5 ft. Letters sent, 5 ft. Decimal subject file, 10 in. Approximately 3 inches of records concern the selection of "unknowns" from among World War II deceased for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Construction and maintenance records of World War II cemeteries, 9 ft. The records are arranged numerically by contract number. The U. Marine Corps was created by an act of Congress on July 11, Although an integral part of the naval establishment, the Marine Corps has always functioned as a specialized amphibious force capable of independent operation.

Naval regulations stipulated the corps' specific duties as garrisoning and defense of Navy yards and stations in the continental United States and overseas, the defense of the Panama Canal Zone, the garrisoning of U. By World War II the Marine Corps represented a mobile ground- and air-combat force that could be rapidly deployed to any region to protect American interests. The Office of the Commandant general correspondence file, January June ft. The chronological blocks at the highest level of arrangement under are not always in order.

The records, which are correspondence to the Office of the Commandant from units in the field, are accompanied by or consist of the following:. Scattered reports on other casualty-related operations, such as evacuations of wounded personnel and "Casualty Assistance Calls" stateside visits to dependents of deceased Marines.

Information in this file is good, and in some cases fairly detailed but it is not easy to find the name of a given individual. Knowing the date and location of a specific casualty is of less help than might be expected, because the records are arranged according to the dates of reports and these dates lag behind the dates of casualties by as much as a few weeks or as little as a few days.

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That lag seems to be dependent on the location of the combat action as well as on the usual pressures of war but it seems to decrease in The information in this category is much more general than that under and pertains primarily to policy and administrative matters, although some of the correspondence is with families of Marine casualties. Since there are no indexes or name lists to these records offering access paths based on personal names, and since dates of reports and correspondence only approximate dates of casualties, the researcher should be prepared to search the entire 8 feet of correspondence.

It would also be advisable to consult all other relevant available Marine Corps records first, in order to have as many clues as possible when confronting this series. It should be noted that this series contains much information on Marine Corps casualties and other affairs dating before and through but not related to World War II. Information about Marines who were killed in action or who otherwise died, December October , is in the first volume of death registers of enlisted men, , 2 vols.

The series is arranged according to three time periods, thereunder alphabetically by initial letter of surname, and thereunder chronologically by date of death. Each entry includes the deceased's name, rank, Marine Corps service number, date of enlistment, the date and place of death, unit, and cause of death.

Marines on active duty at the time of death are entered in the register in black; those who were in the reserves or were inactive or retired at the time of death are entered in red. Records pertaining to Marine Corps strength and casualties, 15 ft. However, one of the three subseries, entitled "miscellaneous" 5 in. Each entry indicates the plot, row, and grave number, and the name, rank, and service number of the deceased.

A "remarks" column in the ledger usually contains only the date of disinterment for reburial in the United States. Most of the disinterments occurred The largest collection of Marine Corps records in National Archives custody is the muster rolls, Jan. Of these, volumes ft. Thereafter monthly muster rolls are divided between posts and stations arranged alphabetically by name and Fleet Marine Force units arranged by type of unit and thereunder numerically by unit designation.

Generally a unit's muster roll contains names of officers and enlisted men arranged by rank , and remarks regarding transfers, promotions, discharges, and specialist grade or status. Rosters extend through the company level for technical and specialized units such as tank battalions and medical companies and through the battalion level for infantry regiments.

Some data on individual casualties are included in these muster rolls. The correspondence and reports of division headquarters, 2nd Marine Division, 57 ft. A file schema and list are found at the beginning of the series. Most of the records pertain to administrative and personnel matters that postdate the war's end, but four files contain information on casualties during World War II:.

Lists of 2nd Marine Division personnel killed or missing in action in the Tarawa and Marianas Islands campaigns, subject file "Missing in Action". These reports are declassified, but other parts of this series remain classified for reasons of national security.

Also still classified is 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's correspondence and reports of wing headquarters, 16 ft. This series is arranged according to the numeric-subject classifications of the Navy Filing Manual, with a list of the file titles and date spans at the beginning of the series. Although most of the records are administrative, four types of records contain various levels of information on casualties:. The two subseries contain much duplicate information. The reports provide details of the operations of constituent units, especially against "bypassed" Japanese forces on Bougainville, New Britain, and Luzon, April September Each report notes the date and time of the mission, the number and type of aircraft employed, claims of damage done, casualties suffered, and ammunition expended, and includes a narrative of the combat action.

Occasionally maps are found. Near the end of the series is "Casualty Log, April November ," which lists officers and enlisted personnel separately, giving name, rank, service number, location of casualty, and burial location information or "remains not recovered. Miscellaneous correspondence and reports of Marine aviation units 2 ft. Among the records of the Deputy Director for Military Information is the series records of deputy director Nicholas Roosevelt, 3 ft.

Several file folders in this series contain information relevant to personal experiences in the war. The file folders titled "News Releases" 5 in. The list is arranged by military branch and gives the year and month of death. In the same folder are stories providing details of the activities of U. In the series memoranda of the acting deputy director [for Production and Manpower], Dec. For example, a news release numbered N discusses two Negro Navy men killed, one wounded, and another one missing.

The release numbered X concerns the participation of Negro Navy men in the destruction of Japanese forces. In the records of the division's casualty section is correspondence of the chief, Feb. The names and number of soldiers killed, wounded, and missing are given in these lists, which are arranged mostly by home state.

In some cases, these data are arranged according to region; for example "Serial No. Another, "Serial No. The casualty lists range from 2 to 57 pages and cover casualties in the European, Asiatic, Central Pacific, Mediterranean, and South Pacific areas. This information can be found in the folder labeled "Casualty Operation Exhibit. For example, copies of the following articles are in the file:.

The Records of Luftgaukommandos Air Defense Commands --part of the German records seized by the United States during and after World War II--include records of commands responsible for defense against air attacks, such as German antiaircraft units, and contain accounts of American, British, and Russian aircraft downed, and the fate of their crews. A few MACRs contain references to the records of the Luftgaukommandos, and may include English translations of the German-language documents. More are found in the related lists of Allied air crashes see p. The informationmost often given about individual downed airmen is name, rank, date and place of crash, and fate capture, injury, death, etc.

Four indexes accompany the records: Two are arranged alphabetically by the surname of downed flier; the other two are arranged chronologically by date of crash and geographically by Luftwaffe administrative district. The chaplain monthly report files, ft. The subseries for is arranged into separate sections for Reserve ft.

Since these files are also considered to be chaplains' " files" personnel files , direct access to them is limited by considerations of privacy. Health and medical records of former military and some dependents are located in various places. This depends on the military branch and the date of separation.

These include:. Compiled service records - Basic biographical, medical, and military information taken from muster rolls, pay vouchers, and other records. Pension applications and payment records - Files include marriage certificates, birth records, death certificates, family letters, and other supporting papers. These records are based on U. Bounty land was granted as a reward to men for their wartime service between and March 3, Most military records are on paper or microfilm and copies will need to be mailed to you. They are not typically available to view online.

Submit a request online. Mail or fax a Standard Form SF Write a letter. Use other methods to request military records. You can only get limited information about non-archival records from 62 years ago to the present without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin. Learn about access to non-archival military records by the general public and researchers. Most requests are free for veterans and next-of-kin. You will be told if there is a fee. Archival requests for military records , including records of veterans discharged more than 62 years ago, may have a cost.

For older military records generally before , contact the National Archives.