Seeking Army Air Force records from WW2 for my grand-uncle Thomas Lewnes

I have the information that is widely available, but I'm interested in the details of his service. He died in 1945, in a plane crash in Florida. (I have the crash report.) I have found him in newspaper articles and in photos of the 344th/494th in the plane called Piccadilly Willy, but I'm looking for the official accounting of his training (one news article mentions Altus, OK, but not much else) and then also the details of his service before/on/after DDay. (I have his medal card.) 

 I'm guessing I need to request the OMPF, but I see that "certain information" is released only to NOK.  His parents (my great-grandparents) and sibling (my grandfather) are dead, and his nephew (my uncle) has passed. My mother (his niece) would technically be his NOK at this point, but she is 80 and disinterested in this research. Do I need HER to fill out the request to get the full file, or am I close enough, as his grand-niece?

Thanks!

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  • Hello  

    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    The record in question is very likely Archival. Military personnel records are opened to the public 62 years after the veteran leaves the service. If fewer than 62 years have passed since the veteran’s discharge date (to include any reserve time), certain information in the records is not available to the general public without the written consent of the veteran or the next of kin the deceased veteran.

    If the record is not Archival, or public, you may still request everything releaseable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by citing it in your request. You can make a request for them online here; use the Requester Comments function to cite FOIA.

    We hope this helps with your research!

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  • Hello  

    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    The record in question is very likely Archival. Military personnel records are opened to the public 62 years after the veteran leaves the service. If fewer than 62 years have passed since the veteran’s discharge date (to include any reserve time), certain information in the records is not available to the general public without the written consent of the veteran or the next of kin the deceased veteran.

    If the record is not Archival, or public, you may still request everything releaseable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by citing it in your request. You can make a request for them online here; use the Requester Comments function to cite FOIA.

    We hope this helps with your research!

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