Dear Ms. Petcoff,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The "official" photograph of an individual is not considered to be permanent federal records by the respective military services and is not retained in a separate collection by the service. If the photograph you are seeking still exists, it will most likely be found in the individual's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). However, there is no guarantee the photograph will be present.
We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Air Force who were separated from the service after 1946 and before May 1, 1994 are in the custody of 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. 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 their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests
Group photographs were not considered permanent records unless the photographs were taken by official military photographers usually for publicity. Photographs of various U.S. Army, Navy or Marine Corps activities from 1940 to 2007 (that are permanent) are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Usually, the instructor of a training facility paid a civilian photographer to come to the base to take pictures. These photographs sometimes are filed in the records of the unit but oftentimes they are just distributed to the individual members with no permanent copy kept.
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 RDSS. 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.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!