Public Service Announcement: Legacy Family Tree is taking 2 weeks off from broadcasting webinars for Rootstech and a vacation. To keep the webinar junkies happy they have made two of their popular webinars free once more! If you missed these the first time around here is your chance.
- Mapping Software for Genealogists which covers AniMap, Centennia and Map My Family Tree.
Share Our Garden asked:
”I have been trying to be creative with alternative sources for military records.destroyed in the 70s era.fire...any you might suggest? I am specifically looking for a DD214 from the 1945 era.Thanks!”
The fire that Share Our Garden is referring to is the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. You can read more about this devastating event HERE. A DD Form 214 is a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Veterans use this form to prove their military service and to access VA benefits. Another thing that you need to know when researching military records is that records created after 1951 are protected and only the veteran’s themselves or their next-of-kin have access to them. Next-of-kin is defined HERE. When my dad died, I was able to get a copy of his entire personnel file. The military also sent me all of his medals and ribbons free of charge. Records created prior to 1952 are public record and accessible.
Share Our Garden, have you tried requesting the DD 214? It was not a complete records loss and NARA has also reconstructed a portion of the lost files. It would be worth your while to try. You can make the request HERE. Your veteran most certainly had a copy of his DD 214 in his possession. Another strategy would be to locate his children/grandchildren to see if it was passed down in his family (I am assuming he is deceased). If the veteran ever used a VA hospital the hospital would have a copy of his DD 214 on file (he would have presented it to them and they would have copied it). Medical records are protected but if one of his children were to make the request for you, you could get it. If your veteran went back to school under the GI Bill, the school would have a copy of the DD 214. Again, you will need one of his children to request the school records. Depending on the school, you might have to go the court order route. If the veteran has a military marker that was provided by the VA free of charge, the next-of-kin would have presented the DD 214 as proof of service. You can contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs and request the veteran’s cemetery marker file under the Freedom of Information Act.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis