1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 1, 2021 11:07 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Seeking records of WWII 517th Attack Airborne

    Dan Arnold Newbie

      Hi I’m Looking for information on my grandfather Jerry F Wilbur Jr. He was in the 517th Attack Airborne, I company. He was in Operation Dragoon and in the Battle of the Bulge. He received two or three bronze stars and a Purple Heart. I would like information on or the report that gives detailed information on why he received the metals. I’m also looking for any pictures of my grandfather his enlisted photo and his company picture also any pictures of company I that were taking in country. ie. outside or inside of aircraft on the battlefield etc.. Any and all information found on my grandfather would be greatly appreciated by his family.

      Sincerely, Daniel Arnold and family

        • Re: Seeking records of WWII 517th Attack Airborne
          Rachael Salyer Tracker

          Dear Mr. Arnold,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) and located the World War II Army Enlistment Records database that includes a file pertaining to Wilbur, Jerry F., Jr.. You may use the information in this file when requesting a copy of his/her Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).

           

          If you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of your grandfather’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were separated from the service before 1959 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where Army and Army Air Corps 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. Navy and Marine Corps OMPFs were not affected by the fire. 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.

           

          Please note that the "official" photograph of an individual is not considered to be a permanent federal record 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.

           

          Additionally, photographs of various U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov and the website is https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/photographs-dc.html.

           

          Finally, the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) may also be able to assist you in locating unit records or operations reports related to the unit your grandfather served in. You may contact them via email at archives2reference@nara.gov for further assistance.

           

          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 and RDT2. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. 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.

           

          We hope this information is helpful, and best of luck with your family research!