2 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2022 9:06 PM by Tommy Johnson

    Seeking military service records of my grandfather

    Bianca Macnaughton Newbie

      Why did my grandfather serve in the Marine Corps, Army, and possibly the Navy? Growing up I’d always heard my mysterious, orphaned grandfather had served in all 4 branches of the military. My mother only knew he had run away from a Boys Home at age 15 and joined the Marine Corps. in 1927 by lying about his age.  Through Ancestry, Fold3, and news clippings I’ve verified this to be true. I’ve also found documents, muster roles, from different wars in which he served in different branches. He was DEFINITELY a Marine but in WW2 was DEFINITELY Army and I’ve found Navy Awards and a document from the Airforce. How can this be? And how can I get photos, medical records, anything?

        • Re: Seeking military service records of my grandfather
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Ms. Macnaughton,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          If you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of your grandfather’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were separated from the service before 1960 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where Army and Army Air Corps 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. Navy and Marine Corps OMPFs were not affected by the fire. 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. 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 if it survived the fire. 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 may include an entry for your grandfather during World War II. If you identify a file for him, you may use the information in this file when requesting a copy of his/her Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).


          Please note that the "official" photograph of an individual is not considered to be permanent federal records 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.


          If you are able to share more information like his full name, date of birth, dates of service, or unit numbers, then we may be able to direct you to additional relevant resources.


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


          • Re: Seeking military service records of my grandfather
            Tommy Johnson Adventurer

            The United States Marine Corps was (and is) administered by the Department of the Navy.  Marines, generally speaking, receive the same awards as sailors.  For example, a Marine is more likely to be awarded the Navy Cross than the Distinguished Service Cross (Army).  Marines receive Navy Good Conduct Medals which are different than the same award given by the Army.  Similarly, A person serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II would still be in the Army, but after 1947 would probably be transferred to the new United States Air Force.