Marion & National Archive Records

Hi Civilwargal,

Well it must be true that many records were completely destroyed in the fire according to this article about the NPRC:


Here's an excerpt:

McLendon is one of 15 technicians who try to restore “B files†— or burnt files — such as Andrino’s that were on the top floor of the drab green and gray records center here when the fire broke out shortly after midnight on July 12, 1973. The flames and the millions of gallons of water used to put them out destroyed 80 percent of the records for Army personnel discharged between Nov. 1, 1912, and Jan. 1, 1960, and 75 percent of Air Force discharge records from Sept. 25, 1947, to Jan. 1, 1964.


My letter was signed by an Archive Technician if that means anything. I sent off the $50 and hope for the best. Did you try to get your Dad's records from alternate sources? Apparently the government kept duplicate and triplicate copies of every veteran's complete personnel file. Copies went to various places when orders were issued, to payroll, insurance policies, medical facilities, and if the family applied for a Burial Flag the Veteran's Administration can locate his VETERAN'S CLAIM FILE.


Last January 2008, i sent requests to St Louis for the OPMFs for my father and his 2 brothers. I sent in dad`s thru EVet online. John & Frank`s i sent in using Standard Form 180s sent in the same envelope.

In April the first response i got for was for John`s records, it was the standard letter..." records were in the area of the fire" ..yada yada.. "some records were recovered"..$50 for copies. So i send the $50, hoping for anything because i had no info at all on John`s service. About 3 weeks later i recieved a large envelope containing 28 pages of records, everything from induction records, unit assignment, dental/medical records, overseas service dates & locations, campaign & battle participation, medals & awards authorized, & discharge documents. Just about a complete record of service. The copies show some damage, mostly smoke or water damage but for the most part were easily readable.


The second response was Frank, form letter... "unable to locate any records for this individual" So... i sent back a letter enclosing copies of FranK`s DD-214 and a death certificate from the VA Hospital in West Haven, CT. In May, i got another form letter back stating " The separation document provided with with your enclosures contains more information than we are able to reconstruct", :angry: "an alternate record that is available is a Final Pay Voucher". $15 for a copy. I`m not sure yet if i`ll send for it.


In May i recieved the reponse for dad`s records, standard form letter, " Area of fire...OPMF was recovered but fire damaged, restoration work required prior to viewing at our facility, $50 for copies of records". I sent in the $50, a week ago i recieved the records, 55 pages!

The records show alot of charring/ smoke/water damage but mostly intact. In some areas of the service record, the info apparantly was written in pencil and has faded or worn off & didnt copy very good, also it appears 2 pages and an insert to the service is missing. Of course they were the info i really really need to know about, ie: Southern France. :banghead:

There was a lot of info i didnt know about, didnt have details on or had wrong assumptions about, but now i have a more complete picture of his assignments & dates of movements.

Dad was assigned to Co "C" 706th MP Bn. 25 Nov 1942 at Athol, MA. for basic training and this was his Bn thruought the war.

I`m still sorting thru the records & looking for more info. Some records are confusing, for example there is a Report of Change card dated 16 Dec 1943 stating he was assigned to HQ 709 MP Bn in Putnam, CT. but at that time he was doing duty in the Port of Casablanca, North Africa. :blink:

Owell, every little clue or tidbit of info helps to piece the story together. Next stop College Park!


Thanks for posting your results so far, Larry. It gives hope that for $50 my Dad's records may also be 55 pages with a tidbit of info I'm looking for.




Heres a followup to my post about NPRC's letter stating: "The record needed to answer your inquiry was in the area that suffered the most damage in the July 1973 fire ... We have located a few documents that were successfully recovered after the fire."

Yesterday my Dad's records from NPRC arrived. That is, what's left of them. Nearly all the photocopies show badly charred originals with ragged edges and big chunks missing or faded away. They sent copies of various documents including pages from his Service Record AGO Form No. 24, but some of the most important things I wanted to know are missing, possibly never recorded, or unreadable. At least I was able to see (with a magnifying glass) that on the date of 8-1-41 he was a Corporal in the 36th Engineers, and on 10-12-42 he was at 1st Battalion Headquarters Camp Pickett, VA. Overseas campaigns page was easily readable but service dates & locations page is either faded-out or NPRC copies were not dark enough for them to show. I sent another letter asking them to try again copying them darker because they had sent 2 or 3 versions of light/dark on several other docs improving readability. Its worth a shot. I don't give up easily.




Well I went to the NARA site and did exactly what I was instructed to do, to obtain a morning report from the day my dad was injured during the break-out from Anzio on May 24, 1944.


instruction for obtaining a morning report


Yet this week I received a reply that they cannot comply with my wish (see attachments).


So I guess I will have to hire someone to obtain it for me, and that is okay, but it clearly states on their site, they CAN do this for me.

Request for morning report.pdf

Morning Report Response001.pdf

Attached Files
.pdf   Request for morning report.pdf (Size: 22.75 KB / Downloads: 0)
.pdf   Morning Report Response001.pdf (Size: 280.35 KB / Downloads: 0)
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Forgot to post this, but got a response from NARA in St Louis, explaining:


The National Personnel Records Center is neither staffed, nor budgeted to perform extensive....


Then they politely went on to tell me my options and...


Well funny thing, for I've had others tell me THEY acquired morning reports, including Captain John Fallon, 36th Combat Engineer, who recently received an envelope of ALL the morning reports for H Company! What the heck?!?? :armata_PDT_19:


So today I composed the following sweet letter (on my VI Corps letterhead), and am mailing it tomorrow.




January 29, 2012


NARA - Military Personnel Records

9700 Page Ave

St Louis, MO 63132-5100

RE: Veteran’s Name: Poniedzialek, Walter

Request Number: XXXXXXXXX


Dear NARA:


Several months ago after visiting your site and reading the instructions, I sent a request to obtain some morning reports for the 540th Engineer Combat Regiment. After a short period of time I received a response (see copy of letter enclosed).


I was considering some of your suggestions, including hiring a private researcher, when I spoke to several of my colleagues, including WWII veteran, Captain John Fallon, 36th Combat Engineer, who informed me he received a package from NARA in St. Louis, containing ALL the morning reports for Company H, from the war. I asked him how he acquired these and he replied, “I sent a request letter…”


My question; why have several friends in my circle been granted their requests in the same time period (2011), while I was turned down?


So I am writing again today to be kindly reconsidered. I would like to obtain the morning reports for H&S Co, 540th Engineer Combat Regiment. I look forward to hearing from you.





Marion J Chard

Historian and daughter of

Walter Poniedzialek

540th Combat Engineer



Stay tuned for updates from yours truly.



Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

I just got copies of action reports and daily reports from the archives the other day. I haven't had a chance to review them yet.


You will enjoy them. There are fascinating, well at least to me, they are! :wave2:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

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