1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 2, 2021 4:17 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking record of Edgar Brokaw on USS Wake Island

    Nicholas Brokaw Wayfarer

      Hello. I have my great uncle's honorable discharge document from WWII. I knew he survived the sinking of the USS Brownson (DD-518) but I didn't know he was then onboard the USS Wake Island, Escort Carrier. I am seeking to find any records/documents that state when he was onboard and his general movements while he was enlisted. Not sure if he came back state-side after being pulled out of the sea from the Brownson wreckage. He was Torpedo's Mate 1st Class Edgar Harold Brokaw, Serial Number 707-75-42. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information to anyone who might have suggestions, etc. Thank you

        • Re: Seeking record of Edgar Brokaw on USS Wake Island
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Brokaw,


          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 medical records of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service after 1885 and before 1959 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC.  We suggest that for Section II, Item 1 you check “Other” and write in “Entire File.”  For Item 2 under “Purpose” check “Genealogy.” If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that includes the USS Wake Island, USS Mizer, and USS Brownson. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.


          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. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.


          As part of our on-going commitment to preserve our records, the National Archives has entered into partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize some of NARA's holdings. Digitized records include Muster Rolls/Personnel Diaries (crew rosters) of U.S. Naval Ships and Stations for the dates of January 1,1941 thru January 1, 1949. These records are now available in digital form and may be viewed online at U.S., World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949. There may be a fee for this service. Please check with your local public or university library as these institutions often provide access to Ancestry.com.


          We searched the copies available on Ancestry and located three listings for Edgard Brokaw. We are attaching copies of the listings to the end of this reply. The first listing shows him having been received on board the USS Brownson on 22 September 1943. The second and third listings show him as a passenger on the USS Mizer. These show him having been received on board the USS Mizer on 31 December 1943 and having been transferred from the Mizer to San Francisco on 20 December 1943.  However, given that this would suggest that he left the ship before he arrived on it, it is likely that there is an error in the records. However, these would indicate that he was transported to the United States sometime before or after the USS Brownson sank on 26 December 1943. We were unable to find additional information about him in the muster rolls. Please note that because of issues with the quality of the original records and the microfilm from which the digital copies were created, some parts of the records may not be fully legible. Also, sometimes the name search feature on Ancestry fails to come up with results even though the person is listed in the records.


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