1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 10, 2020 1:09 PM by Thomas Richardson

    Seeking photographs of Britt Kelch


      I am the son of the deceased veteran, Britt Kelch. He served in the 2nd or 3rd Cavalry during the Vietnam war from 1970-1973, I believe. He was from Frankfort, Indiana. I would like to find out who he served with and see if anyone has photos of him in-country. It would mean a great deal to my family as we only have his dd214 and no other records of his service. His mother threw away all of his military possessions when he moved away to Ohio and I have nothing from his time there. Even a single photo of him would mean the world to us.


      He was in-country at Saigon Station and Cameron Bay. He was a Sargent and Article 15nd down to a PFC. I guess he got into an argument with someone higher ranking than him and it got him in trouble. If anyone has any information pertaining to my father, even a story from time serving with him it would be wonderful for our family. He passed away a few weeks ago and we are struggling with the loss and knew very little of his time there. Words from his brothers in service would be very helpful for us to better see who he was before we knew him, before he was a husband and a father. Below is his senior yearbook photo before he enlisted.


        • Re: Seeking photographs of Britt Kelch
          Thomas Richardson Tracker

          Dear Mr. Kelch,


          Thank you for posting your request on the History Hub.


          To begin your research, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where Army and Air Force 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. Navy and Marine Corps OMPFs were not affected by the fire. 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. You also may fax the form to 314-801-9195. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. Certain information in the records is not available to the general public without the written consent of the veteran or his next of kin. For more information see Request Military Service Records.


          The veteran’s OMPF will contain information on what unit he served with while stationed in Vietnam. With this information, you can search for an Army roster of that unit. The semi-annual rosters (i.e., April and October) for 1960-74 for Army units are attached to the morning reports of the respective units. All rosters for the period are not available and usually list only enlisted personnel. Paper copies may be obtained from microfilm by writing to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  Research and reproduction fees are charged for this service.  Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 to request this information.


          Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended 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. 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.


          If any photographs you are seeking exists, they will most likely be found in the individual's OMPF. However, there is no guarantee the photograph will be present. Photographs of various U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov and their web site is https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/photographs-dc.html.


          Article 15 under the Uniform Code of Military Justice is a non-judicial punishment that a commanding officer uses in order to avoid going to a trial. Evidence of disciplinary actions would also be found in your father’s OMPF. However, if he specifically requested a trial by court-martial, U.S. Army general courts-martial (GCM) records from 1917 to 1976 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For access to the 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 RDSS and RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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


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