Many of the Archives here in the United States are shut down due to the pandemic many of those organizations such as NARA and the NPRC are currently only processing emergency requests for records. Many of the things that you seek will have to wait until they resume normal operations.
The records that she will most likely want to obtain are called IDPFs or Individual Deceased Personnel Files. These files give in some cases a brief description of what occurred and some are very vague. Here is information below
For the IDPFs from 1940-1976 of personnel with surnames that begin with M-Z, 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.
Name: Robert J Whalen Gender: Male Rank: Private Residence Place: Ohio Type of Medal: Purple Heart Service Number: 15338902 Military Unit: 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Military Branch: U.S. Army War: World War II Death Date: 29 Aug 1944 Cemetery Plot Number: A Cemetery Row: 12 Cemetery Section: Grave: 47 Cemetery: Epinal Burial Place: Epinal, France Field Title Value Meaning ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 15338902 15338902 NAME WHALEN#ROBERT#J######### WHALEN#ROBERT#J######### RESIDENCE: STATE 53 OHIO RESIDENCE: COUNTY 061 HAMILTON PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 5242 FT THOMAS NEWPORT KENTUCKY DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 13 13 DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 11 11 DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 42 42 GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION PVT# Private GRADE: CODE 8 Private BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION CAV Cavalry BRANCH: CODE 93 Cavalry FIELD USE AS DESIRED # # TERM OF ENLISTMENT 5 Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law LONGEVITY ### ### SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0 Civil Life NATIVITY 61 ILLINOIS YEAR OF BIRTH 24 24 RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1 White, citizen EDUCATION 2 2 years of high school CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 677 Semiskilled filers, grinders, buffers, and polishers (metal) MARITAL STATUS 6 Single, without dependents COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 6 Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of the United States under Army Regulations 605-10 CARD NUMBER # # BOX NUMBER 0200 0200 FILM REEL NUMBER 2.57# 2.57#
Here are some things on the 4th Calvary Reconnaissance:
After breaking out of the Normandy hedgerows at St Lo in July 1944, the VII Corps attacked east toward Paris. In the dash across France the 4th Cavalry Group assumed traditional cavalry missions of flank screening and protection of lines of communications for the VII Corps. Paris was liberated on 24 August as the 4th Cavalry Group by-passed the city crossing the Seine River on 25 August and the Marne River on 31 August. As the VII Corps prepared to enter Belgium it attached the 759th Light Tank Battalion to the 4th Cavalry Group to support the Group’s protection of the VII Corp’s right flank and rear. Also attached shortly thereafter were the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion (Self-Propelled) and the 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. Along with the two reconnaissance squadrons the attachments gave the 4th Cavalry the strength of a light armored brigade as it crossed into Germany on 14 September and penetrated the Siegfried Line. By late November the 4th Cavalry Group had moved with the VII Corps into the Hurtgen Forest meeting stiff German resistance.
Dear Mr. Commeine,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
As was mentioned by Mr. Schneider, the best place to begin your research for military casualties is the Individual Deceased Personnel File. Please write to the address he provided.
Additionally, you may wish to request his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 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. When filling out the form, use his death date at the “Date Released.” For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
Morning reports for Army units from November 1, 1912 to 1959 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For information about these records, please contact RL-SL via email at email@example.com.
The 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was a component of the 4th Cavalry Group, and the Group was originally designated the 4th Cavalry Regiment. We searched National Archives Catalog and located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905-1981 (Record Group 407) that includes records for the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, the 4th Cavalry Group, and the 4th Cavalry Regiment. These records may include information about the location and activities of his unit at the time of his death. Individual casualties are sometimes, though not always, mentioned in these records. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also located two records in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM) relating to the 4th Cavalry during World War II that have been digitized and may be viewed online through the Catalog. There may be additional motion pictures relating to the unit. To request a search for motion pictures, contact RDSM via email at email@example.com.
Photographs of various U.S. Army activities and subjects during WWII are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about searching for photographs of specific units.
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, RDT2, RDSM, and RDSS. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Finally, we searched online and located the following sources about the unit:
- https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/82ABD-ETO.htm (see Cavalry units listed as Attachments)
- https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/4ID-eto.htm (see Cavalry units listed as Attachments)
- https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/1ID-eto-ob.htm (see Cavalry units listed as Attachments)
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!