Seeking a photograph of dad in uniform

How can I get a picture of my dad in his military uniform? He fought in World War II during 1942-1945. He was a Corporal in the Army. I am desperately looking for one as we have never had a picture of him when he served in the Army.

  • Hi Lorain,

    It would be helpful to know which unit he served in.  If you have his WD AGO Form 53 his last unit he served in would be listed in Box 6.

  • Dear Ms. Armijo,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    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. If the photograph you are seeking still exists, it will most likely be found in the individual's Official Military Personnel File. However, there is no guarantee the photograph will be present.


    We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1958 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. You also may fax the form to 314-801-9195 OR view the record by visiting the NPRC Archival Research Room in St. Louis, MO. 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.


    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.


    Photographs of various U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at and their web site is

    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 RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


    We hope this information is useful. Best of luck with your research!


  • HI Lorain, I received an email last month from the Archives (photo division) regarding individual photos.  I've copied sections of the email below. It might be worth a try.  Also, I found a photo of my dad (also a WWII veteran) at my public library historical photo collection; it had been from a collection of WWII photos from a community center in my dad's neighborhood. I'm assuming my grandmother or one of my aunts gave the photos to the center for display during the war (local boys overseas).  Hope this is of some help. joan

    Recently added to the National Archives Catalog includes a digitized portion of the Army’s personality index titled 111-PX: Index to Personalities in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic Files (111-SC, 111-P, 111-PC, 111-C), 1940 – 1981, covering World War II and the Korean War time period. The index can be useful for locating Army service members as well as notable personalities. A second section covering the Vietnam War time period is available onsite in our research room, and will be made available in the Catalog in the near future.

    One important detail to keep in mind while searching 111-PX is that not every service member is included within the index. Typically, higher ranking individuals are the most frequently found in the index and oftentimes, individuals are not identified in the photographs. If you are unable to find the name of a specific individual, that indicates that we likely do not have a photograph of them or if we do, they were not identified in the caption.

    Searching 111-PX

    To locate the series 111-PX through the Catalog search, simply enter “111-PX” into the search bar of the Catalog. You can also search by the National Archives Identifier (NAID) “530686.”

    Then, click the result titled “Index to Personalities in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic Files (111-SC, 111-P, 111-PC, 111-C), 1940 – 1981,” NAID 530686.

    Clicking on the title takes you to the Catalog description for the series 111-PX. Then, you can click on the blue button “Search within this series” to view all of the related Catalog entries.

    Within the Catalog, the records are grouped in an alphabetical range by the last names of individuals within File Units. After clicking the “Search within this series” button, you will see a list of all of the available file units. To search, you will need to locate the group of records that includes the last name of the person you are searching for.

    For example, to search for someone with the last name “Davis,” we would find the File Unit, titled “Index to Personalities in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic Files, 1940 – 1954: Danner – Davis.”

    After selecting a File Unit, you can view all of the cards in the alphabetical range. Below the main image viewer is a list of all of the cards. The index cards have Signal Corps numbers associated with each name, which are the individual photograph identifier numbers. Once you have located a card with the name of the person we are searching for, we can then find the six-digit Signal Corps number.

    The numbers are typically five to six digits and oftentimes preceded by “SC.” The complete Signal Corps number would combine “111-SC” and the six digit Signal Corps number to be “111-SC-XXXXXX.” In this example, the photograph of Pvt. Adam H. Davis is identified by the Signal Corps number 111-SC-198304.

    These numbers align to various series of records within the Still Picture Branch, but will primarily align to the series 111-SC: Photographs of American Military Activities, ca. 1918 – ca. 1981. While not all of the related photographs have been digitized or are available in our Catalog, we were able to locate the photograph of Pvt. Davis within the series 111-SC: Photographs of American Military Activities, ca. 1918 – ca. 1981 by searching the Catalog for the Signal Corps number 111-SC-198304.

    Local Identifier: 111-SC-198304, Original caption: “Bastogne, Belgium–Weary infantrymen of the 110th Regt., 28th Div., US 1st Army following the German breakthrough in that area. The enemy overran their battalion. (L-R) Pvt. Adam H. Davis and T/S Milford A. Sillars. Dec. 19, 1944”

    Important Tips

    It is helpful to know of a few gaps within the series that may cause difficulty while searching. First, a portion of the index covering last names that start with J thorough K were never transferred to NARA and it is unknown where they could be located. Next, a few cards within the index have only the “Field Number” and no associated or clear Signal Corps number. For example, a card may have only the number “FEC-49-2102,” and no easily identifiable six digit number.

    Additionally, the majority of photographs within 111-SC have not been digitized. If you do locate an image that you would be interested in viewing, we invite you to our College Park Research Room to view the photo and any other related photographs as well.

    If you have questions about still photographs, you may contact the Still Picture Branch at


  • Hello,

    My suggestion (but this is all no guarantee of success) is to start with his military records by obtaining them from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  You will need to electronically submit the form:

    Once you are able to find out what military unit he served with, you can narrow down your search for WWII photographical records.  Granted, this will likely be a considerable amount of work and could take a long time, if ever to produce results.  But if you can find something, as well as get in touch with someone who has considerable knowledge of the military unit during the time period, that would be very helpful to your search. 

  • If you are from Massachusetts you are lucky.  All WWI soldiers were photographed and they are housed in the State Library.  They can be viewed online.

  • Best of luck in your search and request. 

    My Dad served about the same time and I received a packet of his military information.  Although there was a fire, most copies are legible.  No photos were included but you can request medals that he earned.

    Linda Hindes

  • Also, once you know what unit he was in, you can find out if the unit has a related association, or published history.  His photo could be available through them.  Also, if it's an active (large) unit, it may have a museum and associated archive which may have something.

    But it all depends on knowing the unit he was in.

  • I recently sent a memo to STILLPIX.   A subsidiary of NARA, I believe.  It is with hopes that they might have photographs of my Dad's unit during the Burma Campaign 1943. You might also try to contact them.  They may only have group photos and not of individuals, however, some photos did have personal names attached.

    It is all worth a try.   Good luck.

  • I contacted Still Pix, Textural Records, and visited NARAII in College Park. I went through hundreds of pictures. No luck.