3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 9, 2021 9:33 AM by Jo Shipley

    Seeking information about Sgt Meyer Gitlin

    Val Burgess Wayfarer

      Here is a WWII Hospital Admission Card File" from the National Archives (attached). It represents Sgt Meyer Gitlin who was killed during the mission to Berlin on March 18, 1945. Specifically the B-17 caught fire after being attacked by fighters, and most of the crew bailed out over Germany. In the pilot's statement, he said that he saw Gitlin bailing out just before him. However, Gitlin was never seen again. It's unknown as to whether Gitlin was already seriously wounded when he bailed out, or if he was killed by the Germans on the ground. I was hoping this hospital card may offer some clue to this, but I wasn't sure if this meant he was actually taken into a German hospital. By chance, do you have any insights on this?

      WWIII Hospital Admission Card File
      We did find that Gitlin's remains were brought back to the US around 1949, and he is buried in Illinois, granted it remains a mystery as to how he was ultimately killed. The MACR report also did not shed any light on this regrettably.


      Thanks for any information you can provide.


        • Re: Seeking information about Sgt Meyer Gitlin
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Here is some information I found. Plus a crew picture hope you recognize your relative.


          Lt Rollie King Crew 100th BG, 351st BS:




          Missing Photo

          Lt Rollie C. King Crew Back Row L to R: Robert G Mitchell, Francis Gordon, James Baker, Meyer Gitlin, & Archie Mathosian. Front Row L to R: John Spencer, Rollie King, Jack Williams & Ray Wilding.



          Missing Photo





          Missing Photo

          • Re: Seeking information about Sgt Meyer Gitlin
            Anna Smallwood Wayfarer

            Dear Val Burgess:


            Thank you for posting your inquiry on History Hub!


            If you have not done so already, we suggest requesting his military personnel file. Information about those records is below.



            Official Military Personnel files (OMPF) are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. Below is a GSA Standard Form 180 which you should complete and mail to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. 


            LINK TO SF-180: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf


            For a complete copy of a personnel file, in Section II, on the line for "Other" (Specify), write "Complete copy of every page of personnel file - not an extract."


            For information regarding access to medical records please visit http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/public/general-public-clinical.html


            For more information concerning our military holdings please visit http://www.archives.gov/research/military/veterans/.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            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 NPRC (National Personnel Records Center). We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has custody of the primary body of World War II unit records is held in RG 407, World War II Operations Reports (Entry NM-3 427). Military unit files among these records consist mostly of historical reports, after action reports, unit journals, and general orders. Their contact information is archives2reference@nara.gov. For these records, you would need to know the unit that Sgt Meyer Gitlin served with. We would also normally recommend the MACR report, but as noted in your inquiry that did assist you with your research.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            • Re: Seeking information about Sgt Meyer Gitlin
              Jo Shipley Wayfarer

              There are a few alternatives for additional information.  KU Reports, shorten for Kampfflugzeuge USA Reports, were prepared in Luftgau (German administrative offices) referencing Allied downed aircraft over German-occupied Europe. These records are contained NARA Record Group (RG) 242.  I think the reference is RG 242/1033/ ItemNo.12/Containers 1 - 202/Rows 71 - 74/Original German records, but I am not sure as this is a reference from several years ago.


              A complete collection of the German reports does not exist due to many being destroyed at the end of the war.

              Sometimes the KU report was included in the MACR but not always.  Some have been translated from German but I don't think all have been.  I don't know if a KU report exists for Gitlin and the Rollie King crew and plane.  The KU reports are indexed by location and crash date. The NARA can verify if a KU report exists.


              Another option is War Crimes Case number 12-2772 regarding the investigation into Gitlin's death.  Index card records for this case are in Record Group 153:  Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army), 1792 - 2010 Series:  European Name Index to the Series "Case Files, 1944-1949", 1944 - 1949


              Six witnesses are listed in the index cards, all are surviving crew members; and three victims are listed, Gitlin, Baker and Mitchell.  The index cards are available online but the actual case and related testimonies are not online to my knowledge.  The card below references a letter from Col. C. E. Straight.  He was a Deputy Judge Advocate for War Crimes, JAGD.  Gordon was a crew member.

              Gordon witness index card for war crimes case 12-2772


              Finally, an Individual Deceased Personnel File may exist.  IDPFs are held at two locations, NARA-St. Louis and the Army Human Resources Command in Ft. Knox, KY.   Fort Knox has the IDPFs for U.S. Army members killed during WWII.  St. Louis holds the records for the Air Force.  The Air Force became a separate branch of the military post WWII.  It's confusing to me as to who has what so I include both contacts as the Army Air Corps was a part of the U.S. Army during WWII.  IDPFs may be requested by sending an email to: USARMY.KNOX.HRC.MBX.FOIA@MAIL.MIL


              The St. Louis contact info is: 

              Written request:  National Archives at St. Louis,  P.O. Box 37587, St. Louis, MO 63138

              Email: STL.Archives@nara.gov


              Provide the name, rank, serial number, unit, and death date of the soldier who was killed in action.   I submitted my request as a FOIA request.  I don't know if this is still needed as it has been more that 5 years since I requested an IDPF.  I do recall waiting up to 10 months to receive an IDPF so be prepared to wait.