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I'm so glad to see you looking to find your Father's Naval history! I did the same with my own Grandfather, so I know your request is possible. I think you're actually in a better position than I was as you are the son (next of kin) of the person you are requesting records for. I did a little bit of research for you:
Record requests seem to be based on what year your Dad separated from the Navy:
As for the date of separation, there may be someone else who can give it to you on here? Have you tried searching the family genealogy sites? If you have name and his date of death I would imagine you can find a plethora of info. I put in my request for my GF not knowing his military number, but I did this under Freedom of Information.
As for medal replacement, I'm a bit unsure but as you are 'next of kin' you may be eligible for Government issued replacements. If I recall correctly, I was not eligible to get the medals free of charge. Either way, when you get your dad's service record it will include a section 'Decorations and Awards'. There are multiple websites that can take that info and produce replicas of his awards. I won't list any here but an internet search will definitely show reputable supplier. While they may not be the same as the original badges they are still pretty impressive.
It may take some work but it is definitely worth the effort. Again, as a son of a Vet you may find the process even easier than I did.
Hope this helps.
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Thanks Andrew. Actually, this is looking easier then I thought it was going to be. I just spoke on the phone with the National Records Center folks and they told me that they didn't need the service number and separation date on the eVetReqs request as long as I had the death certificate (which includes his birth date and birth location) and his SS#.
Thanks for taking the time to provide the pointers. I hope someone else will find them of value.
Just another update for you regarding medals. You reminded me that I have long wanted to get my GF's Navy medals so I looked into the process. You, as next of kin, can get all the medals replaced for free and it can be done on-line. Here is the link: https://vetrecs.archives.gov/VeteranRequest/home.html
They will ask you for service date of separation and his military ID, but I think they will first pull up his service report if you can give them his SS number and definitive date of death etc.
My Mom and I went through the website above and faxed (but you can also mail) in the forms. We received a confirmation almost immediately and they are saying that these type of request take about '4-5 weeks' to fulfil.
So I have to thank you for getting me motivated to do something I've wanted to do! hahahahah
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Dear Mr. McPeters,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The medical and Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service after 1885 and prior to 1957 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. A GSA Standard Form 180 should be used to request these records.
For Navy personnel, NARA's National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals. For requesting medals and awards, please complete a GSA SF 180 and send the form to NARA's Military Personnel Records, National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Provide as much information as possible in Section II under "other."
We hope this information is helpful.