1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 2, 2021 3:13 PM by Jason Atkinson

    How to locate a Navy service number?

    Ann Watson Newbie

      How can I find the service number of someone in the US Navy in WWII? The problem is that the form requests the service number. Thank you.

        • Re: How to locate a Navy service number?
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Watson,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you request a copy of the individual’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and medical records of sailors of the U.S. Navy who served during World War II and were separated from the service before 1959 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.  Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions.


          It is not always necessary to provide the service number to request a file. 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.


          If the person you are researching was enlisted and you know which ships or other unit the individual served with, you may wish to locate the muster rolls for that organization, as these list service numbers as well as names. 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). Please note that these records do not list officers. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          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. 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.


          Ancestry has digitized records Muster Rolls/Personnel Diaries (crew rosters) of U.S. Naval Ships and Stations for the dates of January 1,1941 thru January 1, 1949 and can be viewed online at U.S., World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949. One advantage to accessing these records via Ancestry is that they are name searchable, so you can look for an individual without knowing which ship or unit he served with. Please note however that sometimes incomplete or imperfect indexing and gaps or poor quality copies in the records makes it difficult to find all relevant entries for a given person. There may be a fee for this service. Instead, you may wish to check with your local public or university library as these institutions often provide free access to Ancestry.com.


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