Dear Mr. Büttner,
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 McMaster’s 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.
We searched the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) and located the World War II Army Enlistment Records database that includes one file for McMaster, William E. Please use the information in this file when requesting a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). 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.
Next, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Photographs of American Military Activities, ca. 1918 - ca. 1981 in the Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (Record Group 111) that includes 4 images of the 9th Armored Division in the 1940s and 2 images related to Remagen in the 1940s. We also located the series Photographic Albums of Prints of Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Transportation (Record Group 336) that includes 2 images related to the 9th Armored Division in the 1940s. The series Black and White and Color Photographs of US Air Force and Predecessor Agencies Activities, Facilities and Personnel - World War II and Korean War in the Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations (Record Group 342) includes 3 images related to the 9th Armored Division in the 1940s and 11 images related to Remagen. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online in the Catalog. For assistance with these and similar records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plus, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Unit Histories, 1943-1967 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338) that includes 25 files for the 9th Armored Division in the 1940s that may include photographs of the unit and its activities. The series World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407) may contain records related to the 9th Armored Division and the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion (AIB). In addition, we located the series Records Relating to Engineer Services and Operations, 7/1942-10/1943 in the Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, United States Army (World War II) (Record Group 498) that contains information about Remagen Bridge. Please note that these records generally do not include information about individuals; rather, they provide information about the actions and engagements of a unit as a whole. For more information about these non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at email@example.com.
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. Best of luck with your research!