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Military History/Searching for Father's Military Records


Mr. Horrell,  
I came across one of your reponses while doing a google search.  When I requested my fatherís military records I received a microfilm and was told his records were destroyed by fire.  I now understand the microfilm I got a little better after reading your post.  Although his records say no wounds received in action I know my father was severely burned in an airplane fire while pulling someone out of the fire.  He required skin grafts and was hospitalized for a long time.  Am I reading this right?  Was he an airplane mechanic? I canít tell what unit he was in.  I know he was in Morocco.   I would like to get his unit and medical records.  I didnít know that was possible until I read your post.  They didnít tell me that when they sent the microfilm.  They told me his records were destroyed.   Can you tell me how I do that?   The microfilm is very hard to read.  It has numbered sections.  Any additional information you could give me would be appreciated.  
1.   Martin P. Cawley
2.   16 034 191
3.   SGT
4.   AAF
5.   AUS
6.   1252nd AFF Base unit
7.   Dec. 13, 1945
8.   Separation Center Camp Grant Illinois
9.   I canít tell what the section is but it has an address in Chicago followed by the number 13 ILL
10.   His DOB June 1, 1920
11.   Chicago
12.   See #9
13.   To 21 give his height, weight and former occupation
22.     To 29 say he enlisted in Chicago on July 29, 1941
30.     AP mechanic crew chief 750
31.   Marksman w/carbine AAF tech badge
32.   none
33.     Good Conduct medal.  World War 2 Victory Medal.  American Campaign Medal.  European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon.  American Defense Ribbon. 1 Service stripe. 2 Overseas service bars.
34.   none
35.   immunizations
36.   1 SEP 44 EPO 27 SEP 44 and 9NOV 45 USA 24 Nov 45
37.   Length of service Continental Service 3yrs 1 mo. 21 days; Foreign Service 1 yr 2 mo. 24 days
38.   SGT
39.     none
40.     CONV of GOVT RR 1-1 (Demobilization AR 615-365 DTD 15 DEC 44
41.   AP Mech 20 weeks, 1941  AP Mech, C-47 3 weeks, 1943
42.     His education through high school 53. Says how long he was paid and what he was paid and his mustering out pay
54.     His fingerprint
56.     Remarks Lapel Button issued ASR Score (2 SEP 45) 61
Dist Sleeve patch for tech spec in engineering VAAF 6/43
I would attach it has an immage but it is a negative with white print and very hard to view.

Dear Ms.,
       Thank You for your question.  Also, THANK YOU for referring to me as "Mr. Horrell".  Good Manners NEVER go out of style.
       In your question you typed "When I requested my father's military records I received a microfilm and was told his records were destroyed by fire."  My apology, but there is something here I do not understand.  An entity sent you "a microfilm" but informed you you father's "records were destroyed by fire"?  If the "records were destroyed by fire" where did the "microfilm" come from?  The Land of OZ?  My criticism is NOT with you, but with the entity that, in my opinion, is sending you mixed messages.  Either your father's Personnel File was destroyed in a fire at 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis  MO 63132 in July 1973 or not!  Which is it?  Puts me in mind of the lady who once said she was a little pregnant.  High School taught me, either a lady is pregnant or not.  There is nothing little about it.
       In your question you typed "Was he an airplane mechanic?"  According to Box #30, your father was a Airplane Mechanic Crew Chief.
       In your question you typed "I can't tell what unit he was in."  Your father was assigned to the 1252nd Army Air Force Base Unit when he was discharged from the US Army on December 13, 1945.  However, that was NOT the unit your father was assigned to prior to V-E Day, May 8, 1945.  
       In your question you typed "I know he was in Morocco."  However, was Morocco the only location your father was at while overseas, or the only location you can recall?
       In your question you typed "I would like to get his unit and medical records."  Excellent idea!  For the unit records, you will need to establish the unit your father was assigned to prior to V-E Day.  Have you any wartime correspondence?  We do not need the letter, but the envelope.  Based upon who sent the letter, the unit appears in the address or return address.
       As to medical records, you may wish to contact Fort Sam Houston, Texas.  Also, if your father received medical treatment after December 13, 1945 from the VA, contact the VA.
       In your question you typed "9NOV 45 USA 24 Nov 45".  This MAY be of interest to you:

Departure Date:   November 10, 1945
Departure Location:   Southampton, England
Hospital Ship:   USAHS Jarrett M. Huddleston
Arrival Date:   November 23, 1945
Arrival Location:   New York Port of Embarkation

I acknowledge that the dates do not match exactly.  It took time to load non-ambulatory men onto an Army Hospital Ship, then unload those same men in the USA.
       My sincerest apology for providing you with sooooooooooooo few FACTS, that is not my way.  But when an entity sends you (in my opinion) mixed messages, it is difficult for me to answer with FACTS.  You are welcome to reply to me via First Class USPS.  Please include your e-mail address for ease of response.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     211 Union St.   #611
      Nashville   TN   37201-1502

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Richard V. Horrell


Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.


A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

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Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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