2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2020 1:10 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking military records of J B McIlrath

    Phil Houseworth Newbie

      Greetings, can you tell me how to search your archives for records related to my Grandfather?  If not, can you see if there are any records related to him? His name is JB McIlrath, Ship's Cook 3c, USNR during WWII and his wife, Mrs Rose Belle McIlrath. Their address was 1401 So. Holland St., Harrisburg, Illinois.  I know he died at sea in the Pacific. Thanks in advance!

        • Re: Seeking military records of J B McIlrath
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Mr. Houseworth,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and medical records of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service (to include those who died while in service) after 1885 and prior to 1958 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC.  When filling out the form, use his date of death (24 October 1944) as the date released. His date entered is 12 November 1943.  His service number is 942 37 27. It is not necessary to include his social security number, date of birth, or place of birth if you do not know this information, however the information more you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC to locate the correct file. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

           

          Navy and Marine Corps casualty records from 1940-1989 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL), P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via letter or email at stl.archives@nara.gov.

           

          We searched the Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) and located listings for J B McIlrath on the muster rolls for the LST-695, 5/22/44-10/1/45. These muster rolls have been digitized and can be viewed online through the Catalog. He was part of the crew of the LST-695 when it was commissioned on 22 May 1944 (Image 7). Seaman 1st Class (S1c) J.B. McIlrath (service number 942 37 27) is listed as having enlisted 12 November 1943 at  Naval Recruiting Station (NRS) Chicago, Illinois. He was received on the ship from Amphibious Training Base (ATB) Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia. He is listed on the muster rolls several more times until the Report of Changes for the month ending 31 October 1944. (Image 135) that states that Ship's Cook 3rd Class (SC3c) died in action on 24 October 1944.

           

          We located World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that contains war diaries and reports concerning the activities of LST-695 during World War II. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online using the Catalog.  Please keep in mind that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order. In particular, the file USS LST-695 - Report of operations in the invasion of Leyte Island, Philippines, 10/20-23/44 & torpedoing of while enroute from Leyte Gulf, Philippines on 10/24/44 contains an account of the attack in which SC3c McIlrath died, although individual casualties are not mentioned by name.

           

          We also located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the deck logs of the LST-695  from its commissioning on June 1944 through 6 November 1944.  While deck logs rarely provide information about the activities of individual crew members, they can be useful for understanding the activities of the ship as a whole. We also located World War II Casualty Reports, 1939 - 1945 in Record Group 24 that includes a file for the LST 695, and World War II Command Files in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that contains the file Individual Ships, LST 695. Additionally, we located World War II Action and Operational Reports in Record Group 38 that may include reports submitted by the LST-695. These records have not been digitized and are not available online. For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          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 to request a search for photographs of specific ships.

           

          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 RDT2 and RL-SL. Also, the National Personnel Records Center 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.

           

          Further, we searched the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command and located an article about LST-695. We also located a page on the LST-695 on the website of The United States Navy Memorial, and the unofficial website NavSource has a page on the LST-695 as well.

           

          Finally, the US LST Association may be able to assist you with your research. Members include veterans, spouses, children, and relatives.

           

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

          • Re: Seeking military records of J B McIlrath
            Elliot Schneider Pioneer

            Phil,

             

            Here is what I have found please copy and paste link into your web browser. Next photo is Navy Muster Rolls. It was listed has having been issued the PH medal.

             

            https://www.fold3.com/record/529968829-j-b-mcilrath

             

             

             

            Hope this helps,

             

            Elliot Schneider

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