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John William "Bill" Wilkerson

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My wife's father's records were a part of those burned up in the fire. She has absolutely no idea of anything about his military service other than the following:

He was from Benton, Franklin County, Illinois b. 22 APR 1924 and d. 02 AUG 1977 in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois.

Her served in the Pacific.

His last known duty assignment was at Camp Stoneman in California.

He supposedly worked on heavy equipment.

I realize that is not a whole lot to go on, but it is what she has.

I am willing to look through all of the rosters ever assigned to Camp Stoneman, if anyone can point me to where I might be able to find them, but it would seem to be, that due to the Camp Stoneman posting, and the fact that he worked on heavy equipment, he would likely have been attached to one of the Engineer organizations located there.

Thank you for any time, information or suggestions you might be able to provide.


Bobb Craig, ETC, USN, Ret.


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1.   Try the VA.  They have records that might amaze you.  My father's VA file (different than the St. Louis records) even had an evacuation tag from when he was with an AAA outfit near Seattle!  You can request the files as next of kin and have the file sent to a lcal VA office wehre you can read it and take notes.  The file should show his duty stations throughout his service time as well as other information.

2.  Look to the county clerk of the county in which he lived upon his return to the States. and seek out his Discharge papers.  Often (not always) States gave a small bounty to vets who filed a copy of their discharge.  If the County doesn't have it, then sometimes the State has it.If it is in Illinois, you will need to be next of kin also.

3.  Once you ID his unit, then you can obtain copies of unit records from the National Archives (NARA on line)  including monthly summaries, After Action Reports, message logs and other miscellaneous reports/documents.  Not all units kept good records, and not all records made it to The National Archives...but well worth a shot.    ALSO, if you have the unit, you MIGHT be able to find daily reports in St. Louis that were missed by the fire in '73.

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Thank you for your time and the information. I do have a question though.

I went to the VA site suggested in the How to Research, but it leads directly back to the National Archives. Am I missing something? Should I go to the Local VA Office and request it directly through them?



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Yes, you go to the VA's site. I called them and that is how I received my dad's discharge papers.

BTW, I just tried the link and it works correctly. It took me to the VA's site. You must have clicked on the link directly above it.


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