6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2021 9:41 AM by Eric Kilgore

    Information about an Italian ancestor who served in the US Army during WW1

    Maria Ratta Newbie

      Good evening, I'm Italian and I'm searching information about an ancestor of mine, who served in the US Army during World War 1, and lived and died in the States.

      After many research (on Ancestry and Family Search) I found out that he may have not used his real name (Vincenzo Ratta) but the name Jim Ratti (sometimes also indicated as Ratta).

      Date and place of birth, father's name, date of military service and of exemption, date of death and place of residence... all coincide.

      Jim Ratti was in the Company "E" 305 Infantry NA and is service namber was 1681270. Vincent Ratta SSN was 016426325.

      I'd like to find something more, and to make a request on NARA, but it's a bit difficult for me to fill the form online, especially page 2. Plus, I don't know if I have to use the name Jim Ratti or Jim Ratta or Vincenzo Ratta, or how can I use both on page 3 and if I can use Vincenzo Ratta SSN.

      Any help is welcome.

        • Re: Information about an Italian ancestor who served in the US Army during WW1
          Eric Kilgore Adventurer

          Dear Maria Ratta,


          Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!


          I understand that the online portal may be confusing.  Please find the attached SF-180 request from that you can fill out and mail in. 




          The information that you have is sufficient to make the request.  That service number does indeed match with a "Jim Ratti" Just fill out the request from to the best of your ability and mail it in.  Under normal circumstances, you are most welcome to request a copy of your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).  The Official Military Personnel Files are in the custody of the National Personnel Record Center / National Archives at St. Louis.  However, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and our limited workforce, we are prioritizing requests from veterans and their families for medical emergencies, final military honors, and other essential benefits.  Currently, there is a substantial backlog of routine requests, in addition to the emergency requests awaiting response.  While it is still unknown how soon we will able to resume responding to routine requests,  the National Personnel Record Center is working hard and taking an aggressive approach to decreasing response times and eliminating the backlog.  Please understand, that your request will be placed into a queue for non-emergency requests until such time as we are able to process it.


          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 RRPO (The National Archives at St. Louis). We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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

          • Re: Information about an Italian ancestor who served in the US Army during WW1
            Jenette Parish Adventurer

            Hello, Ms. Ratta,

            Thank you for posting your question on the History Hub regarding your military ancestor. For all military records from WWI forward, you may send a request to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO.  You may order the records online with EVETRECS. You will need some personal information such as social security, birthday and estimated years of service. It is much easier to order online but you will need to be able to print and fax the final page with your signature.


            You should order the records with the original name and add in the notes section that the secondary name is Jim Ratti. You can also add that you want all 'related records' so that you get the medical and military records. He would be enlisted with his original name most likely. There are significant delays with ordering. See notification below.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPRC has been closed and only completing emergency requests.  As of March 8, 2021, the NPRC entered into a phased expansion of our onsite workforce.  While we continue to increase our on-site staffing, we are still servicing requests associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter.  Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until we return to pre-COVID staffing levels.



            Best of luck with your research.