Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Military Records Were Destroyed?

All Is Not Lost. What Are the Next Steps?
Military Pay Voucher of Benjamin Earl (Service Fire Destroyed in Fire)
With a bit of perseverance and legwork family researchers can rebuild an ancestor's military service history even though the July 12, 1973 fire at the St. Louis National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) destroyed between 16 to 18 million military service files, including those for WWI and WWII. But a researcher with the spirit of determination, can rebuild their ancestor's records. 

The ABC of Rebuilding Military Service Records
The article dated 4 Aug 2011 Your Ancestor's Military Records Were Destroyed? What to Do?  gives the ABC's of recovering from a disaster.

A         Access all the information you DO have on your Ancestor.  It's ok not to have the service number
B         Battles, campaigns and awards/medals can be uncovered in the Adjutant General discharge records of each veteran. Injured veterans' information may also be found at the VA
C         Collection of 19 million final pay vouchers hold a wealth of genealogical information on each veteran. These vouchers were not destroyed in the file.

More detail and resources are given in the Your Ancestor's Military Records Were Destroyed? What to Do? (No subscription required).  For an accompanying handout of useful websites, click here

Kathleen Brandt

(Disclosure: Kathleen Brandt is a freelance writer for the Expert Series, and writes White Papers and provides other writing projects as needed. As a freelance writer she is given compensation and free annual subscription.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post and for the article you wrote for It was very, very helpful for me and I have since requested a few other records. I even wrote about it and your article on my blog. You can read it here: