1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 12, 2021 4:12 PM by Rachael Salyer

    Seeking Korean War Air Force service records of Thomas Polley

    Timothy Polley Newbie

      As I research my fathers (Thomas R. Polley) military history, I am advised that his records were destroyed in fire in the 1970's in St. Louis. The only thing I received was a document with his service number, service entry and discharge date, rank, and that he was discharged under honorable conditions. I am looking for photos, a DD-214, and any other information. Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking Korean War Air Force service records of Thomas Polley
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Mr. Polley,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          If you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), which should include a copy of the DD Form 214. OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Air Force who were separated from the service after 1946 and before 1959 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) 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.  Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          If you know which Air Force unit your father served with, you may be able to learn more information about his service from morning reports, operational records, unit histories, and other similar records. While these records do not generally include information about specific individuals, they may provide some context or background information related to his service.


          Morning reports for Army Air Force units (from November 1, 1912 to August 1947) and Air Force units (from September 1947 to June 30, 1966) are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For more information about these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov.


          In addition, the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has custody of microfilm copies of operational records relating to U.S. Army Air Force/Air Force units. You may search the Air Force History Index to the microfilm for records related to your father’s unit. Please contact RDT2 at archives2reference@nara.gov for assistance with these records.


          The "official" photograph of an individual is not considered to be permanent federal records by the respective military services and is not retained in a separate collection by the service. Group photographs taken at basic training or boot camp were also not considered permanent records unless the photographs were taken by official military photographers usually for publicity. Photographs of various U.S. Army, Navy or Marine Corps activities from 1940 to 2007 (that are permanent) are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov for assistance with these records, and include as much information in your inquiry as possible, such as full name, dates, and unit number.


          Usually, the instructor of a training facility paid a civilian photographer to come to the base to take pictures. These photographs sometimes are filed in the records of the unit but oftentimes they are just distributed to the individual members with no permanent copy kept.


          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 RL-SL, RDT2, and RDSS. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. 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 this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          Finally, unit histories and supporting documents of many Air Force units are in the custody of the Air Force Historical Research Agency, 600 Chennault Circle, Building 1405, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 36112-6424. These files often include historical reports that may be of interest to you. Please call (334) 953-5697 or write to that office for further information concerning these records.


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