3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 27, 2020 11:32 AM by Elliot Schneider

    Seeking WWII Military Service records for my uncles


      I am searching for the military service records and images for three of my father's brothers who served during 1942 through 1945. My uncles were from Fulton County, Pennsylvania and lived on the family farm near Needmore, PA, attended Greenhill High School near Harrisonville, PA. My uncles were:

      1) Norman Emmit Swope, U. S. Army, served in Great Britain and/or Europe between 1942 to 1945, he achieved the rank of  Sargent (based on the stripes on his uniform sleeve) and

      2) William Foster Swope (possibly only used Foster Swope), U. S. Air Corp, served in the Pacific, based on New Guinea, and was a navigator on a bomber. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant. I do not know his division information.

      3) Herman Eugene Swope, Pfc. Herman Eugene Swope, enlisted December 1, 1942 in United States Marine Corps and after completion of training finalizing in Camp Pendleton, California, was assigned to the 4th Marine Division, served in the Pacific Theater from 1943 through 1945.


      One uncle received the Bronze Star for his bravery on the Iwo Jima invasion. He was discharged November 23, 1945 after 23 months of service overseas. He was only 17 years, 3 months old when he enlisted. I have searched for the military actions of the 4th Division and found Wikipedia accounts. However, I wish to find more specific information and archive photographs directly relating to his actions. The original citation for his medal award would be great.

        • Re: Seeking WWII Military Service records for my uncles
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Mr. Swope,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you request a copy of the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) for each of your uncles. OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men and officers of the U.S. Army, Army Air Corps, and Marine Corps who were separated from the service prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where Army and Army Air Corps 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. Marine Corps OMPFs were not affected by the fire.. 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. You can also fax the form to 314-801-9195.  Veterans and their next of kin can also use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled the Records of Ground Combat Units, Support Units and Other Commands, 1939-1950 in the records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127) that includes 56 file units of the 4th Marine Division in WWII.  For access to and/or copies of these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. Please include the file unit information in your email.


          We also located material relating to the 4th Marine Division in a series titled Records of Amphibious Corps, 1940 - 1946 among the records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127).  These records have not been digitized.  Below are the boxes that contain these records:


          • Box 160: [Fifth Marine Amphibious Corps] 4th Marine Division Operations Plan 4-44 & 5-44 -- 27th Division Operations Plan
          • Box 179: [Fifth Marine Amphibious Corps] 27th Division Operation Order 1 -- 4th Marine Division Rehearsal Plan
          • Box 180: [Fifth Marine Amphibious Corps] 4th Marine Division Operation Order 34-44 -- Carrier Task, Personnel Report, #10
          • Box 188: [Fifth Marine Amphibious Corps] Traffic Logs, 3rd & 4th Marine Divisions -- 4th Marine Division Traffic & Logs
          • Box 189: [Fifth Marine Amphibious Corps] 4th & 5th Marine Division Command Logs -- Rehearsal, Hawaiian Area


          Please contact RDT2 and let them know which files and dates you would like copied and they will provide a price quote based on a page count.  Each box contains approximately 1,500 pages of documents.  They do not include personnel or medical information.  There is no name index to these records. 


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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

          • Re: Seeking WWII Military Service records for my uncles
            G H Newbie

            Hi Rodney, if you haven't already found what you're looking for, this--https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/A%20Brief%20History%20of%20the%2014th%20Marines%20PCN%201900031080_2.pdf --has great information about the 14th Marines on Iwo Jima, pertaining to Herman Eugene Swope.

            • Re: Seeking WWII Military Service records for my uncles
              Elliot Schneider Guide

              Hello Mr. Swope,


              Here are some things I have found.


              Norman Emmit Swope:




              William Foster Swope:





              Herman Eugene Swope:






              Hope this helps,


              Elliot Schneider

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