Lest We Forget:
   World War II












Research Information

I often get requests for information on people, units, and the battles and campaigns that they participated in, and who to contact to get such information. I have decided to create a compilation of all of the sources that I know of to assist scholars, students, and family members conducting research.

This page contains information to help with research on people, units, and the like. If you are merely looking for information on a battle or campaign, check the rest of my site, and then check my links. If you are looking for information on a specific person or unit, then try the contacts I have listed here. If that proves fruitless, e-mail me and I'll see if there's any way I can help you. As of now, I only have basic information for American and German personell. As I get new sources, they will be added - if you can recommend sources for other nationalities, any source at all, I would be grateful. Best of luck!

National Personell Records Center
Military Personell Records
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO     63132

Though much information was lost due to fire in the 1960s or 1970s, this is still the best starting point in a search for information on American Servicemen and Servicewomen. Send a letter with as much information as you can gather on the person in question - name, highest rank achieved, rank at time of death/discharge, unit(s) served in, time in service, social security number, serial number - any and all information you can muster. They will replace all medals, decorations, etc. earned by the person free of charge to family members.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC     20408

Another good possibility for finding basic information on American Servicemen and Servicewomen. A nominal fee may be charged for reproductions, etc., but the people at NARA are very friendly and helpful.

  • For aircrew members lost in combat during World War II, you can request a Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) from:

    National Archives and Records Administration
    Attn: Textual Reference Branch
    8601 Adelphi Road
    College Park MD 20740-6001

  • To determine whether an individual was declared missing or killed in action, contact the agency below. They can also provide location details if the deceased is buried in a US (overseas or national) cemetery.

    U.S. Total Army Personnel Command
    2461 Eisenhower Ave, Room 984, Hoffman Bldg 1
    Alexandria VA 22331

Other possible sources for information on American Servicemen and Servicewomen

  • Adjutant General's Office in the individual's state of residence.
  • County and State Veteran's Service Offices.
  • County Office of Vital Records in individual's county of residence prior to entry into service.
  • Newspapers published in the city or county where the individual lived prior to entry into service.
  • Local posts of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Veterans of World War II, etc.
  • The State Office of Vital Statistics for death records of service personnel who died while on active duty.

How To Locate Anyone Who Is Or Has Been in the Military: Armed Forces Locator Directory by Lt Col (Ret) Richard Johnson explains hundreds of ways to locate current and former members of all service branches, including the National Guard and Reserve.

I'm not sure exactly what these three places can provide, but I imagine that you can find anything you want about German forces through them and their recommendations.

Potsdamer Strasse 1
Postfach 3 20
56075 Koblenz

Berlin Document Center
Wasserkafersteig 1
14163 Berlin 37

Deutsche Dienstelle
Eichborndamm 179
13403 Berlin

Copyright © 1994-2005 Stephen Payne