Grandpa's WW2 Records Destroyed in Fire, Need Help

Grandfather's WW2 records were burned in 1973 fire and he never applied for VA benefits so I'm running out of options.  National Archives was only able to provide a final pay voucher from 1943.  Seeking more information if possible.  His name was Donald Oakes.  Enlisted in Army Air Corps 4/15/42 in Los Angeles, CA.  Honorably discharged as 2nd Lt from Stockton Field, CA on 4/11/43.  Serial Number 19079482.  Family lore says he was a B-25 pilot in the China-India-Burma Theater and was shot down over China at some point.  May have served with a unit working with Chiang Kai-Shek.  Grandpa was from Long Beach, California.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Parents
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    Thank you for posting your question to History Hub!

    We recommend contacting the National Archives in St. Louis again to ask for Donald Oakes' separation papers, or DD-214.  This document should be available despite your grandfather's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) being destroyed in the fire of 1973.  You may apply online for this file at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.  Obtaining the DD-214 will help in accessing additional records for your research through providing the military unit he was attached to when he began and ended his service and award citations and General Order numbers.  
    Unfortunately, many of the unit records that are available for World War II are not name searchable and will need the information that can be found on the DD-214.  However, since you mentioned that he was a pilot that was shot down during the war, we were able to check a few series that are name searchable for records related to Donald Oakes (19079482).  We checked the name index for the series Missing Air Crew Reports within the Records of the Quartermaster General, but were only able to find a Donald K. Oakes with the serial number 0728916.  In addition, we also searched the World War II Prisoners of War Data File on NARA's Access to Archival Databases (AAD).  We located a Donald D. Oakes (6372446), but his serial number did not match, was from North Carolina, and was assigned to a Quartermaster unit in the US Army.  Also within NARA's AAD are the Enlistment Records for 1938-1946.  We were able to locate the electronic file for Donald Oakes' enlistment into the Army.  
    Once you have obtained information about the units that Donald Oakes was attached to, we recommend that you contact the Air Force Historical Research Agency.  Unit histories and supporting documents of Army Air Force and 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.  You should call (334) 953-2395 or write to that office for further information concerning these records. The web site is http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but should you have follow up questions for the staff at Archives II, please email us at archives2reference@nara.gov so that we can assist you further.

    We hope this assists you with your research!

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)
    [RR2RR 24-36883-LN]
Reply
  •  

    Thank you for posting your question to History Hub!

    We recommend contacting the National Archives in St. Louis again to ask for Donald Oakes' separation papers, or DD-214.  This document should be available despite your grandfather's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) being destroyed in the fire of 1973.  You may apply online for this file at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.  Obtaining the DD-214 will help in accessing additional records for your research through providing the military unit he was attached to when he began and ended his service and award citations and General Order numbers.  
    Unfortunately, many of the unit records that are available for World War II are not name searchable and will need the information that can be found on the DD-214.  However, since you mentioned that he was a pilot that was shot down during the war, we were able to check a few series that are name searchable for records related to Donald Oakes (19079482).  We checked the name index for the series Missing Air Crew Reports within the Records of the Quartermaster General, but were only able to find a Donald K. Oakes with the serial number 0728916.  In addition, we also searched the World War II Prisoners of War Data File on NARA's Access to Archival Databases (AAD).  We located a Donald D. Oakes (6372446), but his serial number did not match, was from North Carolina, and was assigned to a Quartermaster unit in the US Army.  Also within NARA's AAD are the Enlistment Records for 1938-1946.  We were able to locate the electronic file for Donald Oakes' enlistment into the Army.  
    Once you have obtained information about the units that Donald Oakes was attached to, we recommend that you contact the Air Force Historical Research Agency.  Unit histories and supporting documents of Army Air Force and 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.  You should call (334) 953-2395 or write to that office for further information concerning these records. The web site is http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but should you have follow up questions for the staff at Archives II, please email us at archives2reference@nara.gov so that we can assist you further.

    We hope this assists you with your research!

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)
    [RR2RR 24-36883-LN]
Children
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