3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2021 12:34 PM by John Griswold

    Seeking training death records

    John Griswold Newbie

      Hi, I'm a writer for Washington University in St. Louis. I'm working on a piece about being stationed in Panama with the US Army in 1985-1986. A young PFC in our company disappeared on a field exercise, causing much grief and mystery, and I would like to find out if the Army ever discovered what happened. (It was presumed he accidentally walked off a cliff into the sea.) I have what I think is his rank and last name, though not sure about the spelling. Is there a central archive online for training deaths by period or area of operations? Many thanks.

        • Re: Seeking training death records
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Griswold,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Public Use File contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or non-hostile occurrence in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, or War on Terrorism from 1950 through 2005. These include the records of persons who were missing in action or prisoners of war in either the Korean War or the Vietnam War. Beginning in 1975, casualties considered as occurring during peacetime were also included. The records also include deaths resulting from accidents or illness.


          The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center (USACRC) is the repository and release authority for Army safety accident reports prepared in accordance with Department of the Army Pamphlet 385-40, Army Accident Investigation and Reporting, and Army Regulation 385-10, the Army Safety Program. The USACRC Commander has been delegated authority to act as the Initial Denial Authority (IDA) on requests for information from Army safety accident reports. Records will be made available consistent with applicable laws and regulations. FOIA requests to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center (USACRC) may be submitted in writing, by fax, e-mail or electronic form by contacting the USACRC FOIA office in the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, ATTN: CSSC-SS (FOIA), 4905 Ruf Avenue, Fort Rucker, AL 36362-5363. The email address is  usarmy.rucker.hqda-secarmy.mbx.safe-foia@mail.milPlease clearly mark the mailing envelope, fax, or email “Freedom of Information Act Request.”


          The information you seek may also be contained in his Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF).  IDPFs dated after 1976 are in the legal custody of the Army. For the exact location of these files, please write to U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Casualty & Memorial Affairs Operations Division, ATTN: AHRC-PDC, 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 450, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5405.


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