9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 4, 2020 2:49 PM by Denise Thompson

    Seeking uncle's medal Information

    Denise Thompson Newbie

      I only want information, not the medals themselves, on my uncle who was in the AAF during WWII.   It seems like getting this information is very difficult.   I have all of his details, his bomb squadron and group, the date when he was shot down over Slovenia and taken prisoner by the Germans on August 17, 1944.   It was thought that he received a Purple Heart, a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars.  How do I go about confirming this? Thank you

        • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
          Elliot Schneider Navigator

          Denise,

           

          What is your Uncle name and DOB and place of birth. Many people here have additional resources to confirm. Also I would start looking if your uncle's unit has and association or organization that meets yearly for reunions. Sometimes these groups are very helpful in that matter, sometimes they even have the documents.

           

           

          Thanks,

           

          Elliot Schneider

          • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
            Denise Thompson Newbie

            My uncle's name was Samuel Frank Astorino, born on 2 September 1917 in Spokane WA.  His unit does have a web page but they don't seem to be able to help with medals.   Thanks for your quick reply.

              • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
                Elliot Schneider Navigator

                Denise,

                 

                Staff Sergeant Samuel F. Astorino (ASN: 13038822), United States Army Air Forces, was captured by German forces after his plane was shot down on September 11, 1944 and was held as a Prisoner of War until the end of hostilities in May 1945.

                 

                Would also suggest requesting his full military records from the NPRC. They use a SF-180 or you can go to the website and request on "evetrecs" under veterans resources.

                 

                Sometimes PH medsls just listed but no narrative but if he received the bronze star or silver star then he may give you a clue to way he was given the PH.

                 

                Thanks

                 

                Elliot Schneider

                 

                 

                1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
                Denise Thompson Newbie

                Thanks so much.   I do have all the documents from Fold 3 on the shooting down of his B-24 but I appreciate the confirmation.  I will look up NPRC.  What is SF-180

                 

                Again, thanks for your quick reply

                Denise

                • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
                  Jason Atkinson Pioneer

                  Dear Ms. Thompson,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                   

                  We searched the World War II Enlistment Records on the National Archives’ Access to Archival Databases (AAD) and located the following entry for ASTORINO#SAMUEL#F that may be a match for your uncle. We also searched the World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946 and located the following entry for ASTORINO SAMUEL F.

                   

                  We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 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.

                   

                  Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, 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.

                   

                  Historical and operational records of his squadron and group may  have been microfilmed by the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA). The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has a copy of the microfilm. For access to the microfilm, please use the index to the Air Force History microfilm available at http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org/

                   

                  To conduct your search for his unit records, please enter “GROUP/####/BOMB” (in place of # put the group number with leading zeros for a total of four digits) in the advanced search window of the index and narrow your search by including 12/7/1941 in the Start Date and 12/31/1945 in the End Date before clicking the Search button. Read the brief Abstract to determine which records you are interested in and click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. If the reel number begins with A, B or C, please contact RDT2 via email at archives2reference@nara.gov for access to them.

                   

                  If the reel number begins with D - Z, the microfilm is still security classified and RDT2 will nomake the reel available to you. The original paper copy from which the film was created is still in the custody of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) and has been declassified. To obtain copies of these records, please follow the instructions on this page.

                   

                  Repeat the search for the squadron (SQUADRON/####/BOMB).

                   

                  If you have not already located it, you may be interested in the Missing Aircrew Report (MACR) related to his plane being downed. We searched Name Index to the Series Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs), 1942 - 1947 in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) and located file unit Anderson, Russell THRU Atkins, Byron which includes a digitized index card for Astorino, Samuel F. This indicates that the loss of his crew should be included in MACR number 7631 in the record series Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs), 1942 - 1947 in Record Group 92. While portions of this series have been digitized and are available online using the Catalog, MACR number 7631 has not yet been uploaded to the Catalog. To request a copy of this report, please contact National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email.  The report is available on Fold3 in the data collection Missing Air Crew Reports, WWII. There may be a fee for accessing these records on Fold3.

                   

                  Selective Service records for individuals who served after World War I and were born before 1960 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL), P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-0757. There are two types of records: cards and classification histories.  The individual Draft Registration Card (SSS Form 1) may contain information such as: name, Selective Service registration number, age, date and place of birth, ethnicity, place of residence at time of registration and basic physical description. The Classification History (SSS Form 102) may contain: name; date of birth; classification and date of mailing notice; date of appeal to the board; date and results of armed forces physical examination; entry into active duty or civilian work in lieu of induction (may include date, branch of service entered and mode of entry, such as enlisted or ordered); date of separation from active duty or civilian work; and general remarks. Please complete a Form NA-13172 to request a search of these records.

                   

                  For men who registered for the draft prior to 1976, all other individual draftee files besides the cards and classification histories were destroyed by the Selective Service System in 1978, in accordance with approved records retention schedules. Physical examination and test results, medical letters, laboratory work, and other medical documentation that may have been included in these files no longer exist.

                   

                  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 RDT2 and RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

                   

                  Samuel Frank Astorino's draft registration card is available on Ancestry and in the data collection U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Archives has partnered with Ancestry to make the vast majority of their NARA-digitized holdings freely available to the public. Anyone with Internet access may create an account, access NARA records, and use other Ancestry resources, such as their educational offerings and family tree-maker application. For more information see Ancestry’s announcement -- “Free At-Home Education Resources From Ancestry® and Access to Nearly 500M National Archives Records”.

                   

                  We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Hospital Admission Card Files, ca. 1970 - ca. 1970, documenting 1942 - 1954 in the Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army) (Record Group 112) which contains an entry for service number 33871586.  The original records do not contain service member names. These hospital records are available on Ancestry as the data collection U.S. WWII Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954. Ancestry has cross-referenced the service numbers in these records with other records to assign names to many of the entries in the database.  Their entry for Samuel F Astorino lists the following information.

                   

                  Name:  Samuel F Astorino

                  Race:  White, includes Mexican (White)

                  Rank:  Enlisted Man

                  Admission Age: 26

                  Birth Date: abt 1918

                  Admission Date: Aug 1944

                  Discharge Date: Aug 1944

                  Military Branch: Air Force, Transport/Bombardment Units

                  Diagnosis: FirstLocation: Face: Forehead and frontal region

                  Type of Injury:  Casualty, battle

                  Injured in Line of Duty:  In line of duty

                  Type of Discharge:  Duty

                  Length of service:  2 Year(s), 9, 10 OR 11 MONTHS Month(s)

                  Service Number:  13038822

                   

                  We also located an entry for Samuel F. Astorino in the Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 on Ancestry. These records were provided to Ancestry by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and are not included in the release of National Archives records mentioned above.

                   

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

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
                    Denise Thompson Newbie

                    Thank you so much for your very thorough reply.  It will take time to work through all this.   I do have a page on Samuel Astorino on my Ancestry tree and it is one of the most complete I have done.   He accomplished a lot.   I do have the MACR reports which are quite terrifying.  A plane following my uncle's described the crash.   I also have some of the other reports you mention but I will be going through all this again so your information is helpful. 

                     

                    I see that the SF180 form requires a SS number which I do not have for Samuel.   Will not having one disqualify my inquiry?

                      • Re: Seeking uncle's medal Information
                        Jason Atkinson Pioneer

                        Dear Ms. Thompson,

                         

                        Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                        We searched the Numerical Identification Files (NUMIDENT), created 1936 - 2007, documenting the period 1936 - 2007; the U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014; and the U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 but were unable to locate a record matching both the name and date of birth that you provided in your previous request. For persons that passed away within the date span covered by the records and whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration (for the first two databases) or Veterans Administration (for the latter database), these resources may be used to locate Social Security Numbers.

                        If there is any information requested by the SF-180 that you do not know, you may leave that space blank, or provide an estimate (such as writing “ca. 1946” or “World War II” for dates). The more information you provide, the easier it is for NPRC staff to locate the correct file. Given that you already have his full name, service number (13038822), and enlistment date (26 November 1941) that information should be enough to locate his OMPF, if it survived the 1973 fire. You also may wish to attach a letter with any additional information you have, such as the names of units he served in or awards he may have received, in order for the NPRC staff to search auxiliary records if the OMPF was damaged or destroyed in the fire.

                         

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

                         

                        1 person found this helpful