1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 6, 2018 10:13 AM by Rebecca Collier

    Find US Army unit in France, 1946



      I am new to the site and the process of trying to find a person. I hope someone can point me in the right direction.


      Here is my story: my mother, now a US citizen, was born in France in 1938. When she was about 8 years old, she lived in Moineville or Valleroy, France. Her family was malnourished. She remembers a US soldier who was stationed across the street from where they lived giving her and her older sister food to take home to the family. She credits this man in saving her life. I can only imagine the disciplinary risk he took in sneaking food to them. My mother is now 80 years old and lives here in the States. This soldier would be in his mid to late 90’s if he was still alive. I would like to find him or his family and thank them for what they did for her. I think it would give her some peace as well; she has always wondered about him.


      What I know: Moineville is near Joef and Metz, France, in the Departemente Meurthe-et-Moselle. She remembers there were tanks and quonset huts at the post. The man I’m looking for was African-American and his first name was Bobby. He worked in the mess hall. She didn’t speak any English and he didn’t speak any French.


      Thanks for for helping me get started. This would be the find of a lifetime!

        • Re: Find US Army unit in France, 1946
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Ms. Hawkins,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          First, begin by determining what U.S. units were stationed near these towns in France during 1946. In the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905-1981 (Record Group 407), there is a series titled Station Lists, 1942 - 1953. The station lists are arranged by theater (such as European Theater) and thereunder by date. The lists were computer generated usually once or twice a month. Each list is arranged by type of unit and thereunder in order by unit name or number. The station listed for each unit is the nearest town, camp, city, etc. Since U.S. Army units were still segregated at that time and he was African American, he would only be assigned to a Colored unit. Once the unit is known, you would need to search the records of the unit for names or a chance listing. Unfortunately, rosters for Army units serving in World War II from 1944-46 were destroyed in accordance with Army disposition authorities. For access to the station lists and Army unit records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          To verify the name, you can request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File. OMPFs for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1957 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center 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. 


          The OMPF will not contain the current addresses of former service personnel or their survivors on file. The Federal agency most likely to have such addresses is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA can forward a message from you to the veteran, providing the veteran has filed a claim with VA, and they have an address on record. To forward a message, please write your message and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope. Also include a note to the VA explaining who it is you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have. Place all of this in another envelope addressed to the nearest Veterans Affairs Regional Office (you can find the address at https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp). If the veteran is in their records, your message to the veteran will be sealed and the envelope addressed to the address they have on file for the veteran. Please note that the veteran may not have informed the VA of a change of address, so they cannot guarantee receipt of your message. If the veteran receives your note, it is then up to the veteran to contact you.


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


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