3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2020 1:16 PM by Thomas Richardson

    Seeking records on Navy pilot who died in plane crash


      I'm trying to find information on my great uncle, but because his service was so short and at the beginning of the war, I am not finding anything helpful yet.  He enlisted at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in June of 1942 and then died in a training flight crash in November 1942.  So far everywhere I look I come up empty.  I have had much better luck researching my grandfather that served in WWI than I have with this inquiry.  Open to suggestions or better places or ways to put forward my inquiries on the internet.  Considering a FOIA request, but seems like a lot of work for the little amount of info I am expecting to find.

        • Re: Seeking records on Navy pilot who died in plane crash
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Without any information on your uncle such as name or date of birth. I came up with a Naval investigation for 11/2/1942 Pilots name was Roland Higgins. If you provide additional details many can assist.






          Elliot Schneider

            • Re: Seeking records on Navy pilot who died in plane crash

              Wow, Thanks Elliot, his name was Lewis Wesley Jenkins and he was born in Jan of 1917 in Staples TX.  Would really appreciate the help.  Hoping to also learn what Squadron and type of plane he flew.  Think of building a model of the plane with my son.  Also if possible his serial number so I can get replica dog tags made for the display we are working on.  Thanks again for your help, living in San Antonio I have Army & Air Force friends left and right that were helpful with my grandfathers search, but can't find anyone to help with things in the Navy. 

            • Re: Seeking records on Navy pilot who died in plane crash
              Thomas Richardson Navigator

              Dear Mr. Crump,


              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 individual medical reports of officers of the U.S. Navy who were separated from service after 1902 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. 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). For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov.


              The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has custody of aircraft accident reports for the World War II period among the general correspondence of the Records of the Bureau of Aeronautics (Record Group 72).  Aircraft accident reports provide information about accidental losses of Navy aircraft; they do not usually include information about losses of aircraft as a result of Navy war operations or combat engagement. To obtain a copy of any existing records, please provide us with the complete Navy aircraft model number (e.g. F4U-1A, PB4Y, SNV-1) and the date it was lost and/or the date it was reported lost. Also provide the geographic location of the loss if possible. Please email RDT2 at: archives2reference@nara.gov with the information.


              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 NPRC closed again as of November 7, 2020 until further notice. NPRC will respond only to requests involving burials, medical emergencies, and homeless veterans.  If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines or emergency requests may be faxed to (314) 801-0764.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.


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