Hello I’m Luke Sowieralski, Vail Stewart’s great nephew. Do you by chance somewhere have a picture of him in uniform? He served in the US Navy during WW2 aboard the USS Bushnell. He was s Chief Motor Machinest Mate. Vail Owen Stewart enlisted on 6/16/1942. Thanks.
Dear Mr. Sowieralski,
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 medical records of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service after 1885 and before 1960 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
Unfortunately "official" photographs of individuals are not considered to be permanent federal records by the respective military services and are not retained in a separate collection by the service. If the photograph you are seeking still exists, it will most likely be found in Mr. Stewart's OMPF. However, there is no guarantee a photograph will be present.
Photographs of various U.S. Navy activities and subjects during WWII are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at email@example.com for more information.
In addition, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the muster rolls of the USS Bushnell (AS-15) for April 10, 1943 to April 30, 1948 which may include Vail Owen Stewart. These records have been digitized and may be viewed using the Catalog. For more information about these records please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also located the series Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in Record Group 24 that include the deck logs of the USS Bushnell (AS-15) for October 1943 to April 1948, as well as subsequent time periods. The April to September 1943 deck logs have been digitized and are available for viewing using the Catalog. For more information about the non-digitized deck logs, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at email@example.com.
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDSS and RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information. 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 is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!