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Dear Dr. Moore,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog located the series Records of Pioneer Infantry Regiments, 1917-1919 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that includes records of the 815th Pioneer Infantry Regiment. We also located the series Name Files of Dead and Severely Wounded Casualties of Various Organizations in the American Expeditionary Forces, 1918-1918 in Record Group 120 that may include casualty files for the 815th in Box 5. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) by email at email@example.com.
We also suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 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. 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. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
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 RTD2. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is is currently only servicing emergency requests and will soon expand its service to include time-sensitive requests from veterans for records needed to secure VA home loan guarantees and employment opportunities. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
Thank you very much for the information you have provided! I have printed the SF 180 form and will submit it. Likewise, I have requested the other materials you suggested. And additional thanks are due for the images you just sent!
I have some photos and at least one document (RGM's Identity Card) which I can scan if there is any collection to which they can contribute meaningfully. Perhaps the most historically significant is a photo of the African-American First Sergeant* with his name on the back. This is among my father's correspondence and other WWI material currently at my office, which I rarely enter due to my age** and COVID concerns. But I need to retrieve that material in any case.
* I am guessing as to this Noncom's role, but I know that he worked closely with my father, and that my father respected him highly.
** I am old, but much younger than the typical son of a WWI veteran. My father was 54 when I was born in 1950. He passed away in 1972.