Wonderbase of the Week: Army Records From Korean and Vietnam Wars, and World War II

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This week at WorldVitalRecords.com our Wonderbase of the Week includes a variety of army records, including databases from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as World War II. All of these databases will be available FREE to access until April 19th.

Click on the links below to access each of the databases.

Army Casualties 1956 – 2003
(Free until April 19th)

This database contains information on U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile occurrence, including while missing in action or while prisoner of war, or non-hostile occurrence in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnam War. In particular, it provides unit information the series creators had been able to locate about the following: more than 37,000 of the 38,200 casualties from the U.S. Army, more than 11,000 of the 14,836 from the U.S. Marine Corps, more than 1,700 of the 2,584 from the U.S. Air Force, more than 2,200 of the 2,564 from the U.S. Navy, and all 7 from the U.S. Coast Guard. Each record includes identifying information for the casualty, such as name, service number, date of birth, date of death, and city and state of home of record, and as much unit information as available from Military Command to task group or the equivalent.

US Korean Casualties 1950 – 1957 (Free until April 19th)

This database was created to maintain a centralized information source within the Department of Defense for memorials to those who died due to combat during the Korean conflict and other public issuances. This series contains selected descriptive data about U.S. military personnel who died by hostile means (i.e. battle deaths) as a result of combat duty in the Korean War. The data were usually extracted from Department of Defense Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) as well as from each of the four military services of the Department of Defense. Coverage dates are for dates of death; inclusive dates are for dates records entered into the system. The series lists as the home of record the county for those casualties in the Army and lists as the home of record the city, town, or municipality for those casualties in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Vietnam Casualties 1956 – 1998 (Free until April 19th)

The Office of the Secretary of Defense created this series as the official repository for records on U.S. military casualties in the Southeast Asian combat areas during the Vietnam Conflict and used the database as the source for official information about U.S. military personnel casualties related to the Vietnam Conflict and for disseminating statistical data concerning them. This series contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or non-hostile occurrence or who were missing in action or prisoners of war in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnamese Conflict, including casualties that occurred in Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Thailand. This database contains both final and nonfinal records; a data field in each record distinguishes between them. Final records, also referred to as the “last” records, represent the most current official information about a deceased casualty or about repatriated personnel; nonfinal records, also referred to as “previous” records, are those that precede the final records. Each record includes: the casualty’s name, service number, file reference number, date of birth, date of death or repatriation, date Southeast Asian tour began, record processing date, city and state of home of record, the casualty’s military service branch, country of casualty, type of casualty, military grade and pay grade, military occupation, service component, race, religion, length of service, marital status, sex, citizenship, the reason or cause of casualty, whether the casualty involved an aircraft, the status of the casualty’s body (whether recovered or not), whether the casualty was posthumously promoted, and the South Vietnam province where the casualty occurred, when applicable.

World War II Prisoners of War 1941 – 1946 (Free until April 19th)

This database contains information about U.S. military officers and soldiers and U.S. and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war and internees. The record for each prisoner provides serial number, personal name, branch of service or civilian status, grade, date reported, race, state of residence, type of organization, parent unit number and type, place of capture (theater of war), source of report, status, detaining power, and prisoner of war or civilian internee camp site. Records of prisoners of the Japanese who died also document whether the prisoner was on a Japanese ship that sank or if he or she died during transport from the Philippine Islands to Japan. There are no records for some prisoners of war whose names appear in the lists or cables transmitted to the Office of the Provost Marshal General by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

World War II Prisoners of Japanese (Free for 10 more days)

World War II Prisoners of the Japanese database includes records from 1941 -1945. These records were compiled to provide NARA with more complete data on World War II prisoners of the Japanese. The database contains information on military personnel and a few civilians who were prisoners of the Japanese during World War II. The records include name, rank, service number, branch of service, source of the information, unit information as available from parent unit to subordinate unit, and notes.

Gorgas Hospital Mortuary 1906 – 1991 (Free until April 19th)

Index to the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary Registers, created, 1979 – 1991, documenting the period 1906 – 1991 Creator: Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army South. U.S. Army Garrison Panama. Directorate of Logistics. Transportation Division. Mortuary Affairs Section (10/31/1979-12/31/1999). (Most Recent) Series from Record Group 185: Records of the Panama Canal NARA did not receive data for the following seven years: 1912, 1917, 1918, 1955, 1960, 1965, and 1980 (October 1979 to September 1980). 1979 is the date of the computerization of the index when the U.S. Army took control of the mortuary operations. Part of: Record Group 185: Records of the Panama Canal Function and Use: The database was created to serve as an electronic index to the records of individuals processed by the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary. Scope & Content Note: This series is a necrology and partial index to the mortuary’s registers and contains records of 26,213 U.S. military personnel, employees of the Panama Canal Commission and its predecessors, and Canal Zone civilians processed through the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary between 1906 and 1991. Records in the database include: name, social security number or other unique personal identifier, age, race, nationality, occupation, employer, date of death, place of death, the date the body was received by the mortuary, the person identified as being responsible for the remains, the place of burial, date of cremation, disposition of cremation remains, register entry number, marker, section, row, grave, cost, and remarks. The data file contains some obvious typographical and data entry errors such as misspellings and data from two fields erroneously entered into a single field. Overall, less than 3 percent of the records are affected by these obvious errors.

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