Why can't I find my Dad's WWII military records?

Richland Center, WI

I have searched all over ancestry.com and can't find a single thing about my dad. His name doesn't even turn up once, and I don't understand this! He is still living, age 85, but I know many people who have found their living relatives' records there.

I can't get much help from my dad as he suffers from dementia. I do have a lot of info, such as where he was in Europe, and his division and company number, etc. He also won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and I know when and where he was wounded, and that he was also in charge of German POWS at Dachau after Germany surrendered. But not a thing shows up on the internet. So disappointing!

Does anyone have any suggestions where I might search?

Harpursville, NY(Zone 5a)

Ancestry does not have every military branch listed last I knew. My Dad was in the Navy on an aircraft carrier and I never found him either.
Linda

Carrollton, OH(Zone 6a)

Have you tried to go to your local Veterans Office to see what they could dig up ?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Is his a name that would be easy to mis-spell? Ancestry search will catch some mis-spellings but I've run into some cases where the name was mis-spelled badly enough that the search didn't pick it up (or even if it's spelled correctly on the actual record, the transcription could be way off and that's what the search uses).

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Try these:
Cyndi's List
military.archives.com
http://www.militaryrecords.ws/?id=google

Richland Center, WI

My dad's name is not one that could be misspelled. Very American, very common. synda, I am in Wisconsin and my dad is in Florida. Would my local veteran's office here be able to help me?

Since I posted that original post I found a site, http://www.kilroywashere.org/ and there was a link there to requesting vet records. You either had to be a next of kin for a deceased soldier, which I'm not since dad is still alive, or you had to be the veteran. But there was also a place to fill out why you wanted the records and one reason was genealogy research, which I clicked on, but you still had to be the vet or the next of kin.

Well, I pretended to be my father, putting in his info, but I had to email my brother in Florida (he has P.O.A.) for dad's social security number, and I'm waiting for that. Also, my dad doesn't remember when he got discharged. I happen to know it was 1946, but he has no idea what day or month. Sometimes he lucid, and other times he's just clueless. So sad.

I am happy to have found this forum! I know there are some experienced people here who can help when I have further questions. I have been doing the family genealogy for five years, and have an absolute wealth of info, but just recently joined ancestry.com to fill in some gaps, and am having a sort of difficult time figuring it all out there! But it will come!

Anyway, thank you for those sites, synda! I will surely check them out! Like now! LOL!

Carrollton, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm not sure,I'll ask my brother he works at the Veterans Office here in Ohio.




















Indiana, PA(Zone 5a)

weebiscuit, contact your US congressman's office. I did that when I couldn't find my dad's records and medals. He contacted somebody in the veteran's records center who was able to get him the records. Apparently, sometime in the early 1970's, there was a fire in the archives in St Louis where WWII records are kept. The fire destroyed records of names of vets beginning with A-M, I believe. Anyway, they can recreate your dad's records. They can also replace his medals as well.

Good luck, and let us know if you get the records!

Kathy

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

and be very, very careful of giving out a social security number online. some links look legit but aren't.

in fact, i would just never do it.....too paranoid!

This message was edited Apr 16, 2011 8:49 PM

Cocoa, FL(Zone 9a)

If your father was only recently deceased they may not have his records posted up for a few years. It took them over 10 years to add my Grandfather's military records and he died in 1989. I first checked for his records in the mid 1990s to no avail. Then a couple years ago I decided to try again and happened upon them.

Since he's still alive then ancestry will not have any records for him and it could be a couple of years after his death before they add any of his records. I've run into that problem myself with some of my relatives who I do not know but who are very much alive and well.

As for social security numbers, I agree with tracksinsand, it's a very risky thing. However, I have noticed that ancestry.com DOES list SSNs on death certificates of those people on their database that are deceased. I don't agree with it, but I guess they consider the SSNs of the dead to be "public record" and no longer something to be kept private.

Wee, I'm in Florida and could try to help out depending on the area. I'm in east Central Florida in Brevard County, not to be confused with Broward County as it is located over 4 1/2 hours south of me near Miami.


This message was edited May 11, 2011 2:16 AM

This message was edited May 11, 2011 2:19 AM

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

To be fair to Ancestry, it wasn't their decision to consider SSN's to be public record after someone's died...all they are doing is offering access to the Social Security Death Index or publicly available death indices maintained by some states. These are public records not created by Ancestry and available in other places as well. Ultimately it was the government that decided that information could be public.

Ancestry also does have some databases that have information on living people--I've located records for myself, parents, siblings, etc in the US Public Records indices (these are mostly old addresses, etc). I've also found California birth records for my cousins who are still very much alive. Again while Ancestry offers the databases to their members, they did not create them, they are just making available databases of public record information that others have created.

Cocoa, FL(Zone 9a)

Quote from ecrane3 :
To be fair to Ancestry, it wasn't their decision to consider SSN's to be public record after someone's died...all they are doing is offering access to the Social Security Death Index or publicly available death indices maintained by some states. These are public records not created by Ancestry and available in other places as well. Ultimately it was the government that decided that information could be public.

Ancestry also does have some databases that have information on living people--I've located records for myself, parents, siblings, etc in the US Public Records indices (these are mostly old addresses, etc). I've also found California birth records for my cousins who are still very much alive. Again while Ancestry offers the databases to their members, they did not create them, they are just making available databases of public record information that others have created.


Very true, though you'd think they'd have a way to keept he SSNs from being shown. However, they may look at the listing of those SSNs as not being a privacy issue since the person they belong to is deceased and so becomes public record so that relatives can order copies of hte death certificate.

On trying to find records on the living, I haven't found much in my personal searches of Ancestry. About the only things I've been bale to find are last known residences. I guess my family is just odd ball enough not be listed in any of the other available records as I've had quite a time trying to find records on any of my living relatives...lol

I know for sure I have a Great Uncle who's children are still very much alive, one of which is a police officer in Washington State. Yet all I can find on him is a last known residence... lol I've looked for birth, marriage and census records to no avail, but that doesn't mean they're not there only that I've not been able to find them. It can be frustrating to be sure I know I've wanting to bang my head into my computer desk more than a few times, but I take breaks and continue on my search. I've got a few problems I'm trying to work out in my family tree and haven't had much luck finding the possible answers to those problems. One is on my Great Great Grandfather Pearson, first name unknown place and date of death also unknown, and the other is on my Great Great Great Grandfather Taggart, same issue as with my Great Great Grandfather Pearson. I know which area they lived and the places of birth for their children, just haven't been able to find any record of them with their children. I'll eventually find the answers but as with anything it's just going to take a little time and a lot of luck.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Different states have different levels of online access to info. California happens to have a lot of stuff online but many other states don't. My only relatives who were born in CA were my cousins, all the rest of us were born in OH and PA and none of our birth records come up on Ancestry, all I've found on the rest of us is city directories & public records indices.

Good luck in the search for your missing ancestors. One thing I've tried when I know where someone should have been living in a given census year and can't find them in a search is to go through the census records for that town (or county) manually. It's not fast (especially in more recent census years) but I've found some people that way when their name was mis-spelled (or mis-transcribed) badly enough that they didn't turn up in searches. I've done the same thing with ship passenger lists...I had one g-g-grandfather who I had to search manually through a lot of things for, but I finally tracked him down and found who his parents were. In some cases it's also helpful to focus your search on another family member who has a less common first name since you'll get less search results to go through. So if one of your mystery ancestors had a wife or child with a less common first name than theirs, maybe try searching for them instead and you may find your ancestor in the process. You've probably tried these things already but figured I'd suggest them just in case!

Cocoa, FL(Zone 9a)

Thank you for the tip ecrane :)

That's the on thing I do have on my side as for my G-G Grandfather Pearson that I'm searching for was born in New York between 1840 and 1845 (just a guess since my Great Grandfather was born in 1877), according to my Great Grand Father's Census record entries, and my Great Grandfather was born in Sacramento, CA. My Great Grandfather's sister was born in Ophir, Toole, Utah. So the only thing I can figure is my G-G Grandfather Pearson died either in California, Utah, Colorado (where my Great Grandfather passed away), or near Pocatello, Idaho (where my Grandmother was born) and where his sister lived. I would have thought that finding my Great Grandfather Pearson's mother would be easy given she was born in either Tennessee or Kentucky, but that will have to wait until I can find out her name.

However, I haven't been able to find anything with his name, wife's name or my great grandfather's name on it in California in the 1870s or 1880s for that matter. The other Great Great Great Grandfather Myrick, I can sort of understand why I haven't been able to find anything since both father and mother were born in Indiana. I'll give the manual search a try and see if I can't find them that way. I know for sure that the Myrick last name has been transcribed as Merrick, Merick, and a few other spellings and pronunciations. Same goes for the spelling of Pearson. So, off to Ancestry and usgenweb I go.

Thank you

Huntsdale, MO

Military records for individuals are stored at NARA.Unfortunately, the '73 fire destroyed about 90 percent of the personnel records for individuals who were in the Army/Air Corps during WWII. Luckily, there are alternate resources for tracing the steps of individual veterans during the war. Morning reports, rosters, medical records and other resources can be used to reconstruct the records that were lost in the fire and allow us to trace the steps of our loved ones. From a search of this kind we can discover what our veterans did and where they were throughout the war. Here is a link to a site that specializes in this kind of record reconstruction:

www.goldenarrowresearch.com

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