3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2021 2:47 PM by Hannah Reynolds

    Seeking USAAF records of Robert Metcalf

    Joy Metcalf Wayfarer

      My father, Robert Edward Metcalf, was drafted in June 1944 and sent to the South Pacific.  He said he was "in the second wave over Borneo" (the first one was shot down), and that he was a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Force, but I don't remember whether he was a nose gunner or a tail gunner.  He did say it was tight quarters and he may not have gotten out if the plane had been shot down.  We used to have a picture of him and the rest of the crew standing next to the plane, which was painted with a  girl in a bathing suit sitting with her knees elevated, leaning back, smiling. Alas, a fire destroyed all the photos we had. Does anyone have any idea what company he might have been in, whether it was a B24 or B17, or have any other information pertaining to this company?

       

      I started filling out a form SF 180, but under "current status", I don't know whether to reference the Air Force or the Army. I keep seeing "Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until we return to pre-COVID staffing levels."  I'm assuming that I'll have to delay submitting the form, but in the meantime, at least I can get it filled out properly.

        • Re: Seeking USAAF records of Robert Metcalf
          Hannah Reynolds Wayfarer

          Dear Ms. Metcalf,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub.

           

          We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 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.

           

          In regard to your SF-180 form, when filling out the current status box, you will pick the option under the Air Force titled, “USAAF - US Army Air Force”.

           

          We hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck to your family research!

           

            • Re: Seeking USAAF records of Robert Metcalf
              Joy Metcalf Wayfarer

              "In regard to your SF-180 form, when filling out the current status box, you will pick the option under the Air Force titled, “USAAF - US Army Air Force”. "

               

              There are 5 branches listed: Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Army, and Navy.  There is no option titled, "USAAF - US Army Air Force".  Since the Air Force was part of the Army in the 1940's, do I send the request to the Air Force or the Army?

               

              Also, should I hold off sending in a request or not, since this is not an emergency request?

               

                • Re: Seeking USAAF records of Robert Metcalf
                  Hannah Reynolds Wayfarer

                  Dear Ms. Metcalf,

                   

                  On the second page of the form you will select Army since the US Army Air Force was under the Army and select the option with the appropriate dates.

                   

                  We would advise to postpone sending the request. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPRC has been closed and only completing emergency requests.  As of March 29, 2021, the NPRC increased its on-site staffing to 25 percent of the 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. 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 you find this information helpful. Best of luck with your family research.