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National Personnel Records Center
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Up In Smoke!

The 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis destroyed about 80% of the records for Army personnel discharged between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960. Also destroyed were about 75% of the records for Army Air Force and Air Force personnel, with surnames from "Hubbard" through "Z," discharged between September 25, 1947, and January 1, 1964.

Officials have never determined what exactly was lost in the fire because there are no indices to the blocks of records involved. They were simply filed in alphabetical order for the following groups:

  • World War I (Army) - Sep. 7, 1930, to Nov. 1, 1912
  • World War II (Army) - Dec. 31, 1946, to Sep. 8, 1939
  • Post -World War I (Army) - Dec. 31, 1959, to Jan. 1, 1947
  • Post World-War II (Army) - Dec. 31, 1963, to Sep. 25, 1947

If your records were lost:

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) will attempt to reconstruct a veteran's records only if asked by the veteran or the next of kin of a deceased veteran. Those considered next of kin are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands or wives. Given sufficient information, NPRC may be able to reconstruct a file.

This includes:

  • Full name used during military service
  • Date of birth
  • Branch of service
  • Approximate dates of service
  • Service number
  • Place of entry into the service
  • Last unit of assignment
  • Place of discharge

Send this information to:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

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