Is there a specific person you are looking for, or are you trying to find a list of all the people? Also do you happen to know if the person or persons you are researching are Army, Navy, Air Force, civilian, or all of the above? This might make a difference on where to look for records.
Dear J. Andrew,
Thank you for replying to my question. I am trying to find information about a specific person, my father, who worked in the Blockhouse at White Sands Proving Grounds somewhere around 1948-1951, when Wernher von Braun was there. I have already requested and received separation/discharge papers and medical records from the National Personnel Records Center in Missouri, but there is no indication in those papers that he was in the military during the years listed above. The records I received indicated that he served in the Navy/Coast Guard from October, 1939 to November, 1945, and was honorably discharged after that. My father was never able to speak about what he did at White Sands, so I do not even know if he was in the military or not at that time. In the cover letter that I received with his records is a puzzling statement about
“... attaching one of the following documents: Undeleted separation document (DD form 214, Report of Separation, was not used until January 1, 1950) or NA Form 13038, Certification of Military Service, (in cases where there was no separation document in file). Information shown on the NA form 13038 has been extracted from records on file at the Center. A seal has been affixed to the enclosed documents to attest to their authenticity.”
But I see no document with a seal on it, nor a Form DD 214 or NA Form 13038. I did receive a NAVPERS-553 (Rev. 7-44) Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service, however, which indicates the dates he served in the military, but there is no seal on that document.
I am trying to find out the exact dates he worked at White Sands and how he was chosen to work there.
If you have any suggestions to help me discover this information, I would be most grateful.
Dear Ms. Sikorski,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
In regards to the seal on the military records you recieved, it should be a pressed impression on the lower right hand corner of the separation document or certificate of military service. It is not a sticker or wax seal.
Given that you have your father’s Official Military Personnel File and it does not indicate military service during this time period, he may have worked there as a civilian, either as a civil service employee or as an employee of a company contracted to support the facility. The National Archives does not have personnel files for contractors. It does have personnel files for civil service employees.
We suggest that you request a search for an Official Personnel File (OPF) for him. OPFs and medical information for individuals who worked for the U.S. government in a civilian capacity prior to 1952 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138. Please include the full name used during Federal employment, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), name and location of employing Federal agency, beginning and ending dates of Federal Service. If there is any information you do not know (such as exact dates) you may provide estimates or omit it, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for National Archives staff to locate the correct file. For more information, see Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Archival Holdings and Access.
Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended non-emergency reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for any inconvenience.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!