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Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by Flingwing67, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    I'm Ken Woolnough, using the handle Flingwing67

    I'm a Vietnam veteran, Army helicopter pilot and maintenance officer.

    My primary interest here is to get information on my father's trek across Europe during WWII. I have his DD214 but there is so much more to find out (I'd love to get his DA 66, but alas they won't send that).

    I am also interested in all things WWII.

    I look forward to chatting with you and exploring history together. Let me hear from you and I will be reaching out as my research continues.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cheers and welcome, Ken!
     
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  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Hi Ken. Welcome to this fine place. Share your insights, ask questions, and generally enjoy yourself.
     
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  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Welcome to the forums, Ken!
     
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  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Welcome aboard mate…
     
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  6. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  7. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Welcome Ken,
    best $40.00 I ever spent was for a ride in a Huey UH 1.
     
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  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good to meetcha, Ken. Hope we can help you.
     
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  9. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Thank you, each and every one of you for the warm welcome. Here's a question I have been unable to find an answer. What was the discharge document before the DD 214? Up until the end of WWII, the Department of Defense was known as the War Department. So what was the discharge document called back then? I am after my grandfather's military record and he retired before WWII.
     
  10. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I did a quick search and hope this helps. There is a complete list of codes in the link.

    Veterans Military Discharge Documents
    The documents listed below may be used to establish honorable active military service. NCA will accept the following documents, with some exceptions, to verify eligibility when requesting a headstone or marker.

    * A DD Form 256 or DD Form 257 must indicate a period of active duty service dates to be a valid document for eligibility determination purposes.

    ** Valid only if active duty service dates are indicated.

    *** The DD Form 214 has been issued by all military services since January 1, 1950. Before January 1, 1950, several similar forms were used by the military services.

    **** NGB Form 22 can be used to verify eligibility if it indicates prior active federal service other than for training or a minimum of 20 years total service for pay.

    Veterans Military Discharge Documents - National Cemetery Administration
     
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  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Check this. It might answer your question.

    The first DD Form 214s were issued in 1950, replacing the older "WD AGO" (War Department Adjutant General's Office) Forms and the NAVPERS (Naval Personnel) discharge documents. These documents had existed since 1941. In earlier versions of the form (1 November 1972) it was called a "Report of Separation from Active Duty"; the current title dates from 1 July 1970

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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  12. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Thank you! Do you know if these would still be kept at the National Archives? I have sent requests three times without reply, but suspect since I did not have the right title or form number, it was not processed.
     
  13. firstf1abn

    firstf1abn Member

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    The discharge is part of the individual's service record. These are held at NPRC in St. Louis. The bad news is, about 80% of these files were lost in a fire in the 1970s.

    Under normal circumstances you would send them a form requesting the service record and they would send a copy (if it survived the fire). However, just about all NARA sites have been closed since March of last year. You could send in the form to get in line, but on one of their pages it said they were something like 20 months behind. Of course they will process emergency requests that are needed to qualify for benefits first.

    You can start reading about their policies here:

    Expansion of Onsite Operations at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis

    I sent a request for an operational report (to a different NARA site) in January 2020 and have heard nothing yet.

    WWII vets were encouraged to file a copy of their discharge with the county clerk in their county of residence when they got home (there weren't copy machines on every corner back then). It appears many vets did.
     
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  14. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Tracking down Military records is like prospecting for gold in a coal mine. But when you find that "one" tiny bit it's all worth it.
     
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  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    You might be better served if you hire a researcher. They have better access and know where and how to look. A number of us had success with Geoff at Golden Arrow. He'll give you a price and you can decide if it's worth it. There are other researchers, so it might be beneficial to look around.
     
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  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If you go to the St. Louis branch of the Archives bring your own coffee, they have no clue.
     
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  17. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Yes, I knew about the fire. My son's records were lost in it. Mine weren't. It must have been some fire to burn all those files. I've sent three requests for my grandfather's records over several years and gotten no reply to any of them. Thanks for your help. Almost like Nicolas Cage in National Treasure, "Yes, and this leads to another clue and that will lead to another clue! It goes on forever!" or something like that!
     
  18. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Not unlike genealogy research!
     
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  19. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Kinda like the Curse of Oak Island! Except we know there is no gold here! Just family history.
     
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  20. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    When writing my book 10 years ago, the book's subject (Marion Sanford) did a masterful job of remembering names, especially of the men he served with.
    Uh, except for one man that he worked alongside with from Nov 1944, when he arrived as a replacement, until they arrived stateside in Aug, 1945. There are even photos in my possession of the replacement and Mr. Sanford, made in May 1945 in Germany. Still, all Mr. Sanford could remember was his nickname, "Mack."

    A few years ago, I was in St. Louis on business and managed to parse out some time to go to NARA, north of the city, for a precious few hours to look at Morning Reports (MR). I found what I was looking for and had some time left over, so I began to make photos of reports from other days. I managed only to make photos of June through Dec 1944 before I had to leave. I looked through the MRs at that time and found a few other trinkets of information.

    About two months ago, I located the MRs on my computer and began going through them again, looking at the reports more closely than did before. There on the 1 Nov 1944 MR, it leapt off the page at me - the name of Mack! He was listed among a page full of other replacements, but what made it stand out was his MOS - 018, the same MOS as the man he replaced (Birdsong) on that same day, who I knew was wounded and left the unit permanently at that time. It was also the same MOS as Mr. Sanford and other men in his maintenance section. They were the only 018s the whole month, so it had to be him, as Mr. Sanford said the only replacement his section received that month was a replacement for Sgt. Birdsong,.

    I just wished I could have found this before Mr. Sanford died in 2015, along with locating the family of one of his good friends who was killed at war's end, also this summer.

    Mack's name? Wallace Klang.

    Wallace Klang (1920-2002) - Find A Grave Memorial
     
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