1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 27, 2018 9:09 AM by Rebecca Collier

    Accidental Death Investigation WWII


      I am looking to see if there are any accidental death investigation records in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office for WWII. I have several documents listing the War Department, Adjutant General's Office in a soldier's personnel file I am researching.


      I noticed for the Pacific Theatre there is the following:


      National Archives Identifier: 1429859

      Creator(s): War Department. U.S. Army Forces Pacific. Adjutant General Section. Personnel Division. Recovered Personnel Detachment. 6/1945-1/1/1947  (Most Recent)

      From: Series: Missing in Action (MIA) and Death Investigation Files, 1945 - 1947

      Record Group 407: Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905 - 1981


      Is there an equivalent for the European Theatre?

        • Re: Accidental Death Investigation WWII
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Ms. Rife,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The series citation you provided was from the Philippine Archives Collection. These records have an unusual history since they were buried in footlockers when the U.S. Forces in the Philippines cease operations with surrender of American Forces in the Philippines. Later when the U.S. Forces returned to the islands and gained control, the records were unearthed and became the main part of the records collected by the Recovered Personnel Division (RPD) of the Army Forces Pacific (AFPAC). One of the functions of the RPD was to investigate and to gather information about MIAs and POWs. Since the provenance of the records was undetermined, the collection was filed as part of the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905-1981 (Record Group 407). No similar operation was conducted in the European Theater.


          Usually, investigations of unexplained or accidental deaths were conducted by a unit’s Inspector General and, if warranted, prosecution of the case was carried out by the unit’s Judge Advocate such as these three series located in the Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, United States Army (Record Group 498).


          The Adjutant General of the War Department was responsible for developing forms to be used by the entire Army. That is why certain forms in the WWII soldier’s personnel file often will have the designation WDAGO. This does not mean that the completed forms would only be filed in Record Group 407.


          Please provide us with the information concerning the accidental death investigation plus copies of the documents from the soldier’s personnel file and we will gladly conduct a search for you.


          We hope this is helpful.

          3 people found this helpful