1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 7, 2021 7:05 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking access to DD214 without documentation of a name change

    Amy Shore Newbie

      Hi everyone! My father served in WWII and we have copies of lots of his documents--certificate of honorable discharge from the Navy, registration card, the card that documented what ship he served on, etc. But we need a copy of his DD214 to file for VA benefits for my mom. We are working with an agency to get help with it BUT the big concern is that he changed his name after service BUT we don't have a record of him filing any paperwork anywhere for the name change. His social security card and passport have the new name, and we think he changes it in the early 1960s. I've tried to research what was required at that time for a name change and can't figure it out -- seems like usage was enough. We are concerned that the archives won't release the certified DD214 unless we have proof of his name change. We can't get VA benefits for my mom without it. And we can't afford assisted living without the VA benefit... so pretty stressed out.  Any help/guidance would be deeply appreciated!!!  Thanks!

        • Re: Seeking access to DD214 without documentation of a name change
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Ms. Shore,

          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 of sailors of the U.S. Navy who served during World War II and 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. 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 he separated more than 62 years ago, then his record is considered archival and would be available to the general public. Documentation concerning his name change would not be necessary to request archival records.  However, at this time, NPRC is not processing routine archival requests.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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. We suggest that you call the NPRC Customer Service Line 314-801-0800 for assistance with your specific situation.


          In regards to locating evidence of name changes, we suggest that you contact state courts where he lived at the time, as name changes are most commonly done by petitioning courts. You also may wish to contact the relevant state archives and the state vital records office as they may be able to provide you with more information about the laws and record keeping concerning this matter in their states.


          If he applied for a new passport under a new name, the Department of State may have records of this. Another possibility is to contact the Social Security Administration.


          We hope this is helpful.