There are several types of archival materials, including but not limited to service records and reports:

  • NARA St. Louis
    • Service Records
      • Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)
      • Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF)
    • Morning Reports (army only)
    • Flight Records
  • NARA College Park
    • After-Action Reports
    • Unit Journals
    • Histories
    • General Orders
    • Photographs
    • Maps

Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that requesting and receiving your files usually take a minimum of two to four weeks! For service records, NARA St. Louis needs a couple of weeks to prepare your request. For NARA College Park records, the team will travel to Maryland once a month to gather client projects.

Types of Service Records


Discharge Papers of Michael C. Bilder

Every veteran who fought in WWII has an Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). Soldiers who died during their military service also have Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPF), which document their deaths and any actions associated with the disposition of their remains. These files are housed at NARA St. Louis, Missouri. 

The OMPF contains details about the veteran’s service history, which may include:

  • enlistment documentation
  • training
  • duty stations and assignments, including campaigns fought
  • payroll records
  • discharge information, including list of decorations earned

In 1973, a fire destroyed 80% of these files, and many relatives were told that their veteran’s records no longer exist.

Don’t be discouraged! Archivists have been reconstructing the damaged and destroyed files, and we have found that in most cases, some records exist. You simply can’t know until we submit your OMPF form. You never know: You may be one of the lucky ones who get a B-File (burned file) that has gone through the preservation department at the Archives!

Price: A $50 retainer fee is required to request an OMPF. Depending on the file size or branch of unit, a follow up invoice may be sent to you.

  • Fewer than 40 pages: Retainer fee = $50
  • 40 to 100 pages: Retainer fee + $25 = $75
  • More than 100 pages, Navy files, or B-files (burned files): Retainer Fee + $50 = $100

Be Aware: There is still a high chance your requested personnel file contains fewer than 10 pages. For information about what happened after the fire of 1973, visit:


The Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) documents the actions taken by the military after a soldier dies in service. IDPFs were NOT harmed by the fire of 1973, but for the moment, only IDPFs of veterans with last names A through L are available in the Archives. Information in the requested IDPF may include:

  • location and circumstance of death
  • medical examiner’s report
  • the soldier’s possessions at the time of death
  • burial or repatriation information
  • correspondence between the family and the government

Price: A $75 retainer fee is required to request an IDPF. In the event that the soldier was killed in action or died while in service, Footsteps Researchers will automatically order an OMPF.

  • Fewer than 40 pages: Retainer fee = $75
  • 40 to 100 pages: Retainer fee + $25 = $100
  • More than 100 pages: Retainer Fee + $50 = $150


Types of Reports

Morning Reports

An Army Morning Report provided higher-ranking authorities with an essential overview of all personnel activity within the company on a given day. It may contain the following details:

  • The company’s exact location
  • Names of personnel transferred to another company
  • Names of personnel wounded or killed in action (in the case of a transfer to a hospital, the report gives the particular hospital unit)
  • The strength of the company (the number of active soldiers that day)
  • An overview of the rations in the company’s inventory
  • A brief record of events about the company’s activities that day (e.g., moving or fighting)

Price: A $100 retainer fee is required to start your research. Searching for Morning Reports is a labor-intensive process. The fee covers two hours of research to get the microfilm. You will be billed $50 for every additional hour if your request takes more than two hours. After your payment of the retainer fee, we will contact you for all the necessary information we need to get started. 


9 thoughts to “Archival Materials

  • Pingback: Research a Veteran’s Footsteps! | Joedemadio's WW2 History Travel Blog

  • Roel


    Small question: do You also search german ww2 veterans footsteps? I want to know were my grandfather has been stationed during the war. I already have a lot of information but i juist dont get the puzzle together tho.
    Hope You can help

    Kind regards
    Roel maas

  • theodore knoblauch


    I was wondering, I sent for my fathers records at the national archives. They sent me a letter that his records where in area that was destroyed in a fire in 1973. They say that the (OMPF) was recovered and they would send me copies for 70.00. Since he would never talk about the service and passed away when I was young we do not know much, I am trying to get as much info as possible. All I know is that he was in the Army air in the pacific. So i was wondering could this OMPF file tell me the places he was stationed or just his enlistment dates. Is there any way possible to find out where he was stationed in the pacific and the U.S.


  • Historical Photos

    Fascinating, and morbid. My favorite combination!

  • Patricia Barratt

    Could you tell me the website to go to to request a IDPF ? Thank you

  • Thomas M. Lee

    Were flight records of WWII pilots damaged or destroyed in the 1973 fire?

    • Myra Miller, PhD

      No, we can get the flight records of pilots, they were on microfilm and not part of the fire. However, the Archives is still closed! We can’t get in!



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