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Military History/locate service records


QUESTION: I am seeking service records on an individual who married in 1958 the secretary of a high profile Admiral. I suspect the man either served under this Admiral or served with him. I would like service records and any recognitions the man had. How much would a research like this cost?


You can submit a request via the Military Service Records organization under the Federal Government.

There are other services that will do it for you, do a search for Veteran's service Records.

Is this person a relative and you have information to fill out the forms the cost is nil or negligible. If you are not a relative or only  suspect he was a relative but cannot prove it, it might make it more difficult. Or at least would increase the fee.

The service record will give you the history of his service, where and when he served and a list of qualifications and awards up until his separation from the service.

Sometimes you need to do a bit of homework as some service ribbon awards are not spelled out, such as the European Theater Service Ribbon which was awarded to everyone who served in that area in WWII, vs the same for the Pacific and so on.  Then there were Victory ribbons, and then the same kind of thing for Korea and VietNam.  I did it for my father and found stuff he did not wear the ribbons for, either not wanting too, or did not know he qualified for them.

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QUESTION: I only have the serviceman's name and not a birthdate nor enlistment information, Hard to locate information through veteran's records without that information. I was wondering if one knew the spouse's name who was retired Navy if you could find the serviceman's serial number so that his records could be accessed. Her name was Emelyn Lois Mears born 9/9/18  his name was John (Jon) Tolan born about 1920


On a hunch I did a quick search for Captain John Tolan, and hit pay dirt.

He was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations under Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, also known as the Naval Chief of Staff and did an oral history that can be assessed from the Truman Library here:

I did not read it, but it might have information you need.

If I were you, I might try to locate a descendant, via facebook or search online.

Have you tried to reach out directly to a live person at Veteran's records, or the Naval Historical section in DC at the Old Navy Yard?  I've done research there before and the staff is very helpful.  They might be able to tell you another way.  I take it you do not know the name of the Admiral.


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Keith H. Patton


I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.


I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
historical periods.

B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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