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Veteran Dd214: How To Reconstruct Since Lost Va Records Fire


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Trying to assist an older veteran get a DD214. Has nothing to verify he served in military because info was burned in big records fire. He has received documentation stating he was in military but cannot verify dates.

He does not have photos, awards, and does not remember units....where do I start?

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Military Records Requests

To request your military records use this form Request for Military Records NARA SF 180

To request your C-File which is your claims folder at the regional veteran affairs office use VA Form 3288 Technically any release or waiver from that is signed by the claimant and that properly compiles with and cites the Privacy Act and FOIA is sufficient. However VA personnel are familiar with the VA Form 3288 so it will cause the least confusion. Read More

The 1973 Fire at NPRC

On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at NPRC (MPR) destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The affected record collections are described below.

Branch

Personnel and Period Affected

Estimated Loss

Army

Personnel discharged November 1, 1912, to January 1, 1960

80%

Air Force

Personnel discharged, September 25, 1947, to January 1, 1964
(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)

75%

No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. There were no indexes created prior to the fire. In addition, millions of documents had been lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs before the fire occurred. Therefore, a complete listing of the records that were lost is not available. Nevertheless, NPRC (MPR) uses many alternate sources in its efforts to reconstruct basic service information to respond to requests.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Just to add....

did the VA tell him his records were burned in the Fire?

If so definitely make the NARA request!

I still have files from a few vets whose VA said their DD 214s were burned in the fire.

Their DD 214s are here in the files . They contacted NARA themselves.

One of the vets (this shows how incompetent the VA is and I almost went ballistic when I saw his VA decision)

was born AFTER the St Louis Fire! and his lazy assed vet rep didn't even catch that fact ( nor the vet)

when VA sent him a letter saying his records were burned in the fire.

They only read USAF and his last name and never even requested them.

Another vet, my rep handled me a few pages from what VA said was left of his SMRs after the fire.

I almost went ballistic on that,too

4 clear SMR pages,no watermarks and no charred edges evident on what VA had sent.

.

I was with a fire dept for 8 years...they don't go into a raging catastrophic building fire,

and be able to safely retrieve a few pages of stuff.

I am a civilian. but I cannot understand why this vet does not remember any Unit he was in?

Does he remember the branch he served in?

Did he ever, years ago, have the DD 214 and give a copy to an employer who might still have it?

If he gets SSDI or SSA, they might have gotten it ..and his Mil time would be important to his SSA work credits so good idea to find it, if he isnt getting SSA retirement yet.

Years ago vets were urged to register their DD214s with their county seat, for the whole purposes of having sa copy of it in a safe place.

These days however,they are urged not to do that....it makes them ripe for identity theft because anyone can get public access to DD 214s registered with a county.

"He has received documentation stating he was in military but cannot verify dates."

That sounds very strange to me.

Does he have copies of any Fed/state taxes he paid that included his military pay?

Do any of his family members have any memory of his time in service and where it was?

"He does not have photos, awards, and does not remember units....where do I start?"

The question is where does he start.....a lot of this research is going to depend on his willingness to find this information.

Just my opinion, after being burned out too many times with stuff like this....

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  • HadIt.com Elder

My first thought is he "may not be a real vet, at all" or it could be that he's just getting old. With that in mind, a copy of a veteran's DD-214 is sent to the State's Adjutant General, of the state where he was discharged to, which may be the state where he entered the military.

pr

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