1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 4, 2021 11:20 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Identifying battalion, company & platoon led by William Pfeil in WWII

    Richard Carter Wayfarer

      Need help in identifying my late cousins battalion, company and platoon he was serving with when he was killed in action during Operation Torch on November 9, 1942 at Oran, Algeria   He was 2nd Lieutenant William H. Pfeil ( 0-449502)  Served with the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division and was killed in action when destroying a machine gun nest that pinned down his platoon. He was posthumously awarded the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart Medal.


      Thanks to History Hub we were able to access his DSC citation and have already requested the US. Army Awards and Decorations Branch to provide us a duplicate of the citation,  Would like his immediate reporting unit identification to be added to his files at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the North Africa American Cemetery. Being that the cemetery files are mostly standard interment related they appreciate their hero's personal information to be used during guided tours.  Hoping you experts can do it. If not we appreciate your attempts.


      Rich Carter


        • Re: Identifying battalion, company & platoon led by William Pfeil in WWII
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Mr. Carter,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          If you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of William H. Pfeil’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and before 1959 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.


          The information you seek may also be contained in your cousin’s Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). For the IDPFs from 1940-1976 of personnel with surnames that begin with M-Z, please write to U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Casualty & Memorial Affairs Operations Division, ATTN: AHRC-PDC, 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 450, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5405. They are being scanned by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in order to properly identify remains of those still listed as missing.


          In addition, we searched National Archives Catalog and located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 - 1985 (Record Group 407) that may include records of the unit your cousin served in during WWII. For more information about these non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          We also located multiple records related to "Operation Torch" that may be of interest to you. Some of these records have been digitized and can be viewed online in the Catalog. Most of the records have not been digitized. You may contact the National Archives reference unit listed in each Catalog description for additional assistance with those particular records.


          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 or other NARA reference unit. 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!


          2 people found this helpful