Dear Ms. Hamilton,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
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 before 1959 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. 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. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
Additionally, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series entitled Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917 - 9/16/1940? in the Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Record Group 15) that includes an entry for what may be a match for the person you are researching:
William Oliver Morrison
26 Aug 1895
21 May 1919
Ocean Mines, W VA
11 Jul 1965
Based on the context, 21 May 1919 may be his separation date. If this is a match for your father, please list this date as the “Date Released” when you fill out your SF-180.
Next, located Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917-1938 and Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938 in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) that include listings for William Oliver Morrison of Ocean Mines, West Virginia. We are attaching images of these records at the end of our reply. Please note that his service number is 1579990. Please include this information when filling out the SF-180. Please also note that he arrived in France as a part of a replacement unit from Camp Shelby, Mississippi, was assigned to Company B, 307th Engineer Regiment at the time that he returned to the United States. This unit was a part of the 82nd Division. It is possible that he had additional unit assignments during the course of his service.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Records of Divisions, 1917 - 1920 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that includes the 82nd Division and files of the 307th Engineers in Entry P 1241-82 box 26. We also located Records of Engineer Regiments and Battalions, 1912 - 1921 in the Records of U.S. Regular Army Mobile Units (Record Group 391) that may include files of the 307th Engineers. For more information about these files, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at email@example.com.
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 RDT2. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Addinatly, we searched online and located the following sources concerning the 307th Engineer Regiment and the 82nd Division during World War I.
Finally, you may wish to contact the U.S. Army Engineer Museum, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office of History, the National Museum of the United States Army, the Army Heritage and Education Center, the 82nd Airborne Division Museum, and the National WWI Museum and Memorial for further assistance.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
FamilySearch has a collection called United States, World War I, Military Muster Rolls and Rosters, 1916-1939. The records are grouped by Organization, then Company name, then from the earliest date to newest date (WWI years are mostly month by month). You have to go page by page. There is a page in between each company that says "New Orgn Begins". You will have to register (for free) to view these.
Using the rosters posted above, I looked at what units William was with. I’m not sure what unit his outgoing ship roster was indicating, so I looked at his return ship roster. It states William was with Company B, 307 Engineer Regiment. Using that information, I found him on the following page:
Film # 106474368
Image 504 of 1981
William is Pvt 1st Class (line 33). The unit is on board U.S. Troopship Santa Cecilia (found at the top of image 503).
You can trace his service location roster by roster, going backwards in time from this record. It will give you an idea of where he was located. Use the left arrow (on the left, by the image number) to go back month by month. You should find William’s name. It may tell you when he transferred into the 307th and from what unit. You can then locate the roster for that unit and search it for William.
This link takes you to the overall search page where you can search for different units—you can use the Find button to search by the name/number. You may have to search more than one page to find the unit you are looking for (the arrow to go to another page is at the bottom of the list of units). Some units may not have every company listed but use a range, for instance:
307TH ENGR REGT MED & SAN DETS - CO D 308TH ENGR REGT
This film includes the 307th Engineer Regiment Medical & Sanitation DETS, Companies A through F, sick then organizations of the 308th up through Company D.