1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 23, 2020 9:47 AM by Holly Rivet

    Seeking Army Records for Donald Lee White


      I am seeking military records for my grandpa Donald Lee White. I've been unable to find any records of his military service on AAD, Ancestry, FamilySearch, or Fold3 (except in the Social Security Death Index there). This is what I know -- He was born March 2, 1933 in O'Fallon, Illinois. He joined the Army in the early 50s and served in the Korean War. He was likely drafted and spent about two years in service. He first served in Korea for a little over a year, and I was told it was near the end of the war.  He was stationed in Hawaii for the last 8-9 months of his service likely with the rank of Sergeant. He left the Army sometime before he was married on Dec 26, 1955. He died on May 22, 2004 in St. Louis, MO. I do has his SSN if that's helpful. With it I found two Social Security records and his death record in the AAD.



      I already sent in a request for his records to the National Personnel Records Center, but given that I'm sure they have a backlog, and it will likely be some time before I get his records, I was hoping to find something online. Since I've been unable to find any records, I'm wondering if perhaps they haven't been digitized or if his were destroyed in the fire in 1973. Any assistance in this would be much appreciated.

        • Re: Seeking Army Records for Donald Lee White
          Holly Rivet Tracker

          Dear Mr. White,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Without searching for his record physically, there is no way to tell if his record was destroyed by the 1973 FireHowever, 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 if the record was destroyed.  What may complicate any search for these records is if you were not able to provide a service number as the Social Security Number was not used by the Army until 1968 and he has a common name. 


          You also may consider requesting his Selective Service Classification Ledger to gather more information.  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 RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          Since you have much of what is available online at the federal level, we suggest checking some state and county sources.  After the WWII and Korean War, service members were encouraged to submit a copy of their separation document to their County Recorder of Deeds or County Veteran's Affairs Office.  Not all counties have retained these copies, but please check with the country of his residence at the time of his separation and with the Missouri and Illinois State Archives. 


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



          Holly Rivet

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