2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2021 1:13 PM by Arlus Stephens

    Seeking Military base newspapers from Panama

    Arlus Stephens Newbie

      Hi everyone, I am seeking information about how to search for an archive(s) for military base newspapers from Panama around June 1964.  My father was a victim of a terrible car accident on the evening of June 2, 1964.  I have a clipping about the accident (incomplete) that appears to have come from one of the nearby base newspapers.  My father was, coincidentally, a USAF photographer.  After he left the hospital, some of his photographer friends gave him copies of photographs that they took of the accident scene.  Unfortunately, those photographs are gone.  I would like to learn more about the accident.  I thought that looking for information about the base newspapers near Panama City would be a good start.   I would very much appreciate any and all information anyone can share about how I should get started.  Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking Military base newspapers from Panama
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Mr. Stephens,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Newspaper Files, 1952-1999 in the Records of the U.S. Southern Command (Record Group 530) that consists of copies of unofficial authorized newspapers associated with the U.S Army South and its predecessors that were published in Panama for the benefit of the military service members and their dependents stationed in Panama. We also located the series "The Panama Canal Spillway" Publications, 7/6/1962-11/19/1999 in the Records of the Panama Canal (Record Group 185) that consists of biweekly newspapers that dealt with current events and life in and around the Panama Canal. Although neither of these series are publications of the U.S. Air Force, they may contain some relevant information. These records have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov for assistance with these records.


          If you have not done so already, we also suggest that you request a copy of your father’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Air Force after 1958 and before May 1, 1994 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. 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. Certain information in the records is not available to the general public without the written consent of the veteran or his next of kin. For more information see Request Military Service 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. 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 also suggest that you review historical newspapers such as those available on the Library of Congress Chronicling America website. Their US Newspaper Directory includes several titles related to Panama.


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