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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> How to get loved one's records.
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Author Topic:  How to get loved one's records.
Ken K Legacy Member
Junior Member
Member # 214

Posts: 57
From: NH
Registered: 3/29/2007
posted 5/16/2007 12:18:13 PM    Click here to view the profile for Ken K Legacy Member  Click here to email Ken K Legacy Member  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
In 1973 all WW2 U.S. Army veterans’ records were destroyed in a National Archives warehouse fire. These records were never duplicated, leaving a massive void in our history. Ironically, there are records of those killed in action, maintained by the Department Of The Army and the Department Of Veterans Affairs.

What the records contain and do not contain. The Department Of The Army records are titled Individual Deceased Personnel File [IDPF], and as the title states, it is the death record of a veteran. I have my uncle’s file; he was killed at Steinwald Forrest January 16, 1945. His file is 37 pages, covering the date he was declared dead, his personal effects, and his initial and final internment at Epinal Cemetery, France, letters between his parents and the War Department, referencing life insurance payments, and returning his remains to the family for burial. In addition, documents which describe his fatal wounds, and some of his awards The IDPF is not gruesome to read, but is emotionally stressful.

How to obtain the IDPF; write to The Dept of The Army, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandra, VA 22332-400. Since these records fall under the freedom of information act [FOIA] you must state your relationship to the deceased. Include you are the oldest child, is his wife still living or not etc. Your loved one’s ASN, if you don’t have it, contact me. His DOB, hometown, and any other data you have. I suggest you send your request via certified mail, return receipt. The request will take at least a year before you get the record, but are worth the wait.

Next is the Dept of VA. Easier and faster than the IDPF, these records will contain medical records, life insurance applications, birth certificates, correspondence between his parents and the VA. My uncle’s record contains 44 pages.

As required by the IDPF, this record falls under the FOIA, use the same letter you used for the IDPF and the same data about your loved one. The file I have, has no name, but is designated by a series of reference numbers, 373/21/mal and XC 3 867 481. I am sure one of these refers to my uncle’s file and the other is the designation for the VA as to what record category you are requesting. Feel free to use this data to describe your request to the VA.

Next look up the 800 number for the VA, one number serves the entire U.S., when dialed it will route you to your closest VA office. Explain what you want. These records are held in a central depository located in or near your dad’s home state. When I went through the process, the VA located my uncle’s record within a minute or two. At that point request the record be sent to your local VA [the one you called] office. They will notify you by mail when it arrives, and the arrangements for copying. I think the whole process took less than a month.

If you have questions just ask.
Regards,

Ken / Legacy Director


Joe Adams
Junior Member
Member # 103

Posts: 4
From: Sunset Beach NC
Registered: 8/11/2005
posted 5/17/2007 9:11:44 AM    Click here to view the profile for Joe Adams  Click here to email Joe Adams  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Great job Ken.
Thanks so much for posting this information. I had given up long ago since I knew that the fire had destroyed the records of my uncle.
I will start the process soon.
Regards, Joe Adams

Ken K Legacy Member
Junior Member
Member # 214

Posts: 57
From: NH
Registered: 3/29/2007
posted 5/17/2007 12:43:51 PM    Click here to view the profile for Ken K Legacy Member  Click here to email Ken K Legacy Member  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Joe, remember this only applies to those who were killed, died of injuries or died of wounds

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 859
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 5/17/2007 4:48:13 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Dear Ken, This is very useful for me. I do have
a few pages that may have come from this approach,
but it looks like there is more.

Mike

Ken K Legacy Member
Junior Member
Member # 214

Posts: 57
From: NH
Registered: 3/29/2007
posted 5/18/2007 5:17:41 AM    Click here to view the profile for Ken K Legacy Member  Click here to email Ken K Legacy Member  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Some files may contain more data than others. My uncle's has two life insurance applications. One filled out during his first days in the army, the second at Barkeley a month before leaving for the ETO. Did all members of the 12th fill out two apps? This told me the Camp where he was first stationed.

nieceofvet
Junior Member
Member # 116

Posts: 4
From: Houston, TX
Registered: 10/3/2005
posted 6/27/2007 11:52:07 PM    Click here to view the profile for nieceofvet  Click here to email nieceofvet  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Ken,

I do not have my uncle's ASN. His name was George Fedzora and he died (or was killed that is another story) while in the service in Germany during the cold war - early 50's. His death is very much a mystery and I would like to clear it up. The army said that he committed suicide but since he was in the counter intelligence corps, it is very hard to believe that he would have turned on the gas in his apartment like they said. Any help with getting my uncle George's ASN so that I can proceed with your suggestions on getting his records would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Joyce Herrmann

Ken K Legacy Member
Junior Member
Member # 214

Posts: 57
From: NH
Registered: 3/29/2007
posted 7/14/2007 7:44:48 AM    Click here to view the profile for Ken K Legacy Member  Click here to email Ken K Legacy Member  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Your uncle's ASN is 35588354
Ken