1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 30, 2020 11:58 AM by Hannah Bingham

    Locating my father or his family


      I am trying to locate my father, John Derryberry, or his family.  He was stationed at Fort Holabird, Maryland in 1943 before being sent overseas. My maiden name was Lynda Derryberry and my mother was Loretta. I have been told by some family members that I might have siblings. I am 76 now and would like to find anyone related to me.

        • Re: Locating my father or his family

          Dear Ms. Shade,


          Thank you for posting your request on HIstory Hub!


          We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and prior to 1956 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. 


          We searched the file unit "Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records)" in the series “World War II Army Enlistment Records” (Record Group 64) that is available via AAD (Access to Archival Databases) on the National Archives website at https://aad.archives.gov/aad/ for John Derryberry and found 4 hits.


          We also searched the file unit “Application (SS-5) Files, 1936 - 2007 (Last Names C through D)” in the series “Numerical Identification Files (NUMIDENT), created 1936 - 2007” (Record Group 47) that is available via AAD (Access to Archival Databases) on the National Archives website at https://aad.archives.gov/aad/ for John Derryberry and found 9 hits.


          You may also want to refer to NARA's web site at https://www.archives.gov/ for ideas on how to begin genealogy research in order to find your father and/or his family.


          Additionally, the following magazines and books are good resources on finding living persons and provide guidance on finding 20th century military personnel:


          • Gormley, Myra Vanderpool.  "20th Century Military Records."  Heritage Quest 10 (May-June 1987) pages 3-7.
          • Hinckley, Kathleen W.  "Locating the living: Twentieth Century Research Methodology."National Genealogical Society Quarterly 77 (September 1989): pages 186-196.
          • Johnson, Richard S.  How to Locate Anyone Who Is or Has Been in the Military, Eighth Edition.  Fort Sam Houston, TX:  Military Information Enterprises, 1999.
          • Martin, Amy Suzanne.  "Playing Detective: How Government Records and the Freedom of Information Act Can Help You Locate a Missing Person."  Heritage Quest 7 (July-August 1991):pages 7-8.


          The National Archives does not have the present addresses of former service personnel or their survivors on file.  The Federal agency most likely to have such addresses is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA can forward a message from you to the veteran, providing the veteran has filed a claim with VA, and they have an address on record. To forward a message, please write your message and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope. Also include a note to the VA explaining who it is you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have. Place all of this in another envelope addressed to the nearest Veterans Affairs Regional Office (you can find the address at https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp). If the veteran is in their records, your message to the veteran will be sealed and the envelope addressed to the address they have on file for the veteran. Please note that the veteran may not have informed the VA of a change of address, so they cannot guarantee receipt of your message. If the veteran receives your note, it is then up to the veteran to contact you.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

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