Archives. Files. History.
What constitutes your veteran’s service records?
Every veteran who fought in WWII has his own Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). Soldiers who were killed or died during their military service also have an Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF), which documents their death and 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
- 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 their veteran’s records no longer exist.
Don’t be discouraged! The 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. For information about what happened after the fire of 1973, go to https://www.archives.gov/st-louis/archival-programs/preservation-program/burned-records.html
Please bare in mind that requesting and receiving your files usually takes two to four weeks! However, the request takes longer if it has to go through preservation.
The IDPF documents the processes of the military after a soldier’s death while in service. These files were not in St. Louis at the time of the fire but were housed at Fort Knox in Tennessee and recently moved to Missouri. Files with last name A-L are currently available to view at NARA St. Louis. The IDPF may include:
- location and circumstances 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
Disclaimer: In order to get your research started, a retainer fee of $50 is required. This will allow us to fill in the needed forms and submit them at the archives. Depending on the size of the records that we receive, we will bill you for an extra amount,
* Only IDPF files with last names A-L are available for viewing and imaging in the Research Room in St. Louis. The files for M-Z are in St. Louis but not yet available to researchers… we hope they will be available in the near future.
- OMPF or IDPF = <40 pages, $50
- OMPF or IDPF = >40 pages, $75
- OMPF or IDPF = >100 pages, or Navy file, or B-file (Burned file), $100
Please bare in mind that requesting and receiving your files usually takes two to four weeks!