WW2 Army Service Details - European Theater

I’ve been trying to find information on my Dad’s uncle. His name was Robert Joseph Hanley though some records list him as Joseph Robert Hanley. He was from Lackawanna, NY, born Aug 19, 1923 and KIA on March 14, 1945. I found a death record on Fold 3 that shows he was with the 3rd Army but as far as I can tell, his records burned in the 1973 fire. Is there anywhere else I can search to find anything out about his service or where he died?

  • For soldiers who were Killed in Action, those files were not affected by the 1973 fire. They are called Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPFs.) 

    From a previous post on History hub: "Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPFs) from 1940-1976 for U.S. Army personnel with surnames that begin with A-L 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. RL-SL has not yet received digital images for these files; however, they can be scanned individually as they are requested. If you order one of these files, RL-SL will provide digital copies of the record via OneHub and charge the fee via Pay.gov. Please do not submit a Standard Form 180 to NPRC for IDPFs as they do not handle these requests."

  • Thank you so much! I appreciate the help - and so quickly!

  • Hello  

    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    Even if you suspect his records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, we would still recommend that you request his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). In general, OMPFs for military personnel who were separated from the service between 1912 and 1999 are serviced by 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.

    You'll want to 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.  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).

    In addition to the IDPF contact information shared by our community, some IDPFs from WWII have also been digitized and are available to search and browse on the National Archives Catalog

    We hope this helps with your research!

  • This is great info. Thank you so much! I’ll definitely look into this too.