1 Reply Latest reply on May 12, 2020 10:40 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking remains of WWII MIA/KIA great uncle in Philippines

    Nicholas Brokaw Wayfarer

      Hello all and thank you for reading.


      Questions up front:

      1. How can I find out if remains were ever found? I'm more than willing to submit DNA samples

      2. How can I find out if medals/citations were ever awarded to family posthumously ?

      3. How can I find out if there are any military reports/information about an individual that can be requested?


      My great uncle Lt. Irving J. Brokaw was sent to the Philippines in mid 1941 as part of the 31st Infantry Regiment to train Filipino soldiers. December 1941 he is overrun during the Japanese invasion. The notion within my family is that he was captured and potentially was a victim of the Bataan Death march/japanese POW camp soon after... How can I try and find out what became of him?  My part of the family was apparently not close to his wife and son, both of whom are dead as of the mid 1990s. How can I find out if his Silver Star was ever actually posthumously awarded to any form of family member? Surely, there must be some kind of paperwork if it was every delivered or sent out, etc ?


      Images attached are excerpts about the Silver Star being awarded from his last letter home from February 1942, as well as a photo and short description of his actions.




      Military citation description


      My great uncle Irving Brokaw


      THANK YOU FOR ANY/ALL HELP ! I am totally at a loss for how to begin to search/petition military history avenues of records etc.

        • Re: Seeking remains of WWII MIA/KIA great uncle in Philippines
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Brokaw,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the website of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and located his name on their list of Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII from CALIFORNIA. For further information regarding U.S. servicemen missing during WWII as well efforts to account for missing U.S. servicemen, please contact the DPAA.


          Lt. Irving J. Brokaw is memorialized on the Manila American Cemetery Walls of the Missing as well as the Richard M. Kemper Memorial Park.


          For information about his military service, to include any awards, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and prior to 1958 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.  For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          You also may wish to request his Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). IDPFs from 1940- 1976 for personnel with surnames that begin with A-L are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL), P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.


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

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