How to get a DD-214 that was burned in 1973 fire?

How to get a dd214 when all records were destroyed in a 1973 fire?

  • Dear Crystal Way,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    According to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) web page on the 1973 fire, 80% of the records for U.S. Army personnel discharged November 1, 1912 to January 1, 1960 and 75% of the records for Air Force personnel discharged September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964 were lost in the fire. Records for other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces were generally not affected by the fire. In many cases where Army and Air Force 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 see Locations of Service Records to determine where the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) would be located based on the individual’s branch of service and separation date. Then, 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 next of kin of deceased veterans also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. 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 if it survived the fire.


    Please be aware that NPRC is prioritizing the requests for separation documents needed by veterans and their dependents to prove eligibility for a variety of benefits. NPRC continues working to restore their pre-pandemic response times of under ten days for these requests. It will take a considerable amount of time to eliminate the backlog on other types of requests, such as genealogical requests for complete copies of records. For more information, please refer to Onsite Operations at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.


    Response times from NPRC vary depending on the complexity of your request, the availability of the records, and their workload.  The NPRC staff works actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, but keep in mind they receive approximately 4,000 - 5,000 requests per day. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines.


    Archival OMPFs may also be requested by visiting the Archival Research Room at the National Archives at St. Louis. Please see the linked website for more information.  Please email for further assistance prior to making an appointment.


    Finally, since some veterans registered with their state or local veterans service agencies after they separated from service, we suggest that you contact the state or county veterans agency where the individual lived for additional assistance. Please review the NPRC web page Other Methods to Obtain Military Service Records for more information. Please be advised that registering discharge papers with local and state authorities was optional, so we can not guarantee that these types of organizations will have his records.


    If you are able to share any additional information, such as the full name of the individual you are interested in, their date of birth and/or dates of service, their branch of service, and their unit designation, then we may be able to direct you to additional, potentially relevant resources.


    We hope this is helpful.


  • Crystal,

    You may get a "cobbled" reply and not exactly a copy of the DD214 per say. The Center will send you what they can come up with during their research. Unfortunately, my father's records were caught up in that fire as well. I had sent off a request back in the late 90's. I was sent a copy of what information they could retrieve at that time. I also reached out to the funeral home that handled my father's burial in 1993. They still had a copy of his discharge paperwork on file, but I don't think it was called a DD-214. If I can be of help please let me know.


    Kevin McGrath

  • Was it called OMPF? Any help you can give to point me in the right direction, I appreciate. Thank you. 

    Did yoi serve in the Military yourself?