Veterans & Family Search & Information



Obtaining Military Records: All Services. 2

IDPF - Individual Deceased Personnel File. 3

Obtaining Unit Records: Army. 4

Obtaining Unit Records: Air Force. 5

Obtaining Unit Records: Marines. 7

Obtaining Unit Records: Navy. 8

Veterans Grave Sites. 9

Government Grave Marker Requests. 10

Replacement Medals. 11

Veterans Memorials. 12

Traveling Vietnam Memorials. 13

On-Line Vietnam Memorials. 14

On-Line Vietnam War Casualty Databases. 15

Veteran Service Organizations. 16

Vietnam Areas of Operation Maps. 17

POW / MIA.. 18

Veterans Search. 19

Family Search Techniques. 21

Web Sites. 24

Obtaining Military Records: All Services


Veterans or their next of kin can obtain complete military and medical records, including DD-214s. Non-relatives may also request this information, but what they will receive will be limited and will not include date of birth, official photo, records of court martial for active duty personnel, medical information, social security number, or present address. State that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act.


Requests for military records are best made on a government form, SF 180. There is an online records request capability, but experience to date indicates difficulty in getting all of the records available through this method. The paper form has a better track record if used in the manner prescribed below. This form is available on the Internet at


You cannot request an entire file, each document must be named and only those named specifically will be provided. Names of documents include unit orders, awards and commendations, efficiency reports and ratings, promotion orders, records of court martial or other disciplinary actions, assignment and reassignment orders, photographs, qualification records, and report of separation (DD-214). It is suggested you use the exact wording above to name documents on form SF 180 as this has achieved good results in the past.


When requesting medical records a statement should be included that they are needed by a current physician if applicable. If information is being requested regarding a specific injury or illness, that should be specified. If records regarding hospitalizations are needed, provide the dates that the hospitalization occurred and the name of the hospital if known.


Send the SF 180 to the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.  Expect a significant waiting period before receiving the information. Requests citing VA claims and medical emergencies receive priority.

IDPF - Individual Deceased Personnel File


An alternate choice for Army veterans if positive ID such as a service number is available, is to request a copy of the veteran’s "Individual Deceased Personnel File" from:


            Department of the Army

            U.S. Total Army Personnel Command

            ATTN: TAPC-PED-F

            2461 Eisenhower Avenue

            Alexandria, VA  22331-0482

            (Address must be exactly as written including caps)


The above address with address caution is information a few years old now (2004). One individual awaiting IDPF processing received an “in progress” status mailing from:


Administration Section

Dept of the Army

US Total Army Personnel Command

Alexandria, VA 22332-0405


And from another source the following:


Army (only) Deceased Personnel File - This file contains detailed information on each Army casualty… file may include – autopsy report and finger prints… personal effects list, etc.  Letter of request: Must include Dad’s Military ID #, name, unit served with, casualty date. Be sure to enclose a copy of your birth certificate showing proof of your relationship to deceased.






ALEXANDRIA, VA 22332-0405

Obtaining Unit Records: Army


U.S. Army Personnel Rosters and Morning Reports are available from the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO. 63132, 314-538-4261. The request must be made in writing. State that the request is a Freedom of Information Act Request and give complete unit information (as specific as possible including company and platoon), and month and year of the roster/reports that you are requesting.  Because the quality of the records can be poor, it is advisable to ask for rosters a few months before and after the actual month you are looking for. There are usually no fees charged for "Freedom of Information Act Requests."  Turnaround time can be very slow. Plan on several months.


Operations Reports/Lessons Learned (ORLL) and other primary source material about Army units in Vietnam such as radio logs, unit journals, and after action reports, are stored at the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, 301-837-3510, fax 301-713-7482. Call and ask to speak with an Archivist specializing in the Vietnam War before going to the Archives. They can assist in determining whether materials you are interested in are available and explain how to obtain a researcher's card to examine the documents. A specific name and number at the National Archives at College Park is Clifford L. Snyder on 301-837-3010. This was from a contact in the late 1990’s.


Similar reference assistance may also be obtained from the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Bldg. 22, Upton Hall, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, PA 17013-5008, 717-245-3611, fax 717-245-3711.

Obtaining Unit Records: Air Force


Unlike the Army and Marine Corps, the Air Force did not prepare unit rosters. Morning Reports from September 1947 to June 30, 1966, when they were discontinued are available from the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO. 63132, 314-538-4243. The request must be made in writing. State that the request is a Freedom of Information Act Request and give complete squadron information and the month and year of the Morning Reports that you are requesting.  Because the quality of the records can be poor, it is advisable to ask for Reports a few months before and after the actual month you are looking for. There are usually no fees charged for "Freedom of Information Act Requests."  Turnaround time can be very slow. Plan on several months.


The Official Air Force Register listing personnel from 1949-1975 is available on microfilm from the Office of Air Force History, Building 5681, 170 Luke Avenue, Bolling AFB, Washington, DC 20332-5113, 202-767-4548 or 5764. As with unit rosters in the other services, in order to locate material concerning a particular individual, it is necessary to know the time period and the unit/squadron in which the person served. The Air Force Register, 1949-1975 is also located at the National Guard Association of the United States Library, One Massachusetts Ave., NW,

Washington, DC 20001, 202-789-0031.


The Catalog of The USAF Oral History Collection (1989), a finding aid arranged alphabetically by name of interviewee with list of topics discussed, includes air room interviews, air intelligence contact units, and escape and evasion interviews for Southeast Asia, Korea, and WWII. The majority of these interviews have been transcribed and microfilmed and are available at the Office of Air Force History, Bolling AFB (see above), and the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery AL (see below). The transcripts at the National Archives are located in Record Group 407. Call the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, 301-837-3510 for more specific information as to location and access.


The most definitive and comprehensive collection of Air Force primary source materials is located at the Air Force Historical Research Agency (formerly the U.S. Air Force Research Center), 600 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL 36112-6424, 205-953-5834. This archive contains, among others, the following materials, some of which have been mentioned above:


Unit Histories, some dating to WWI, are available as published or unpublished hardcopy documents and/or on microfilm. As with all unit history searches, the requester must know the name or number of the unit.


Aircraft Record Cards which list assignments of aircraft are available for the period of ca. 1926-1980. They are sorted by military serial number, an index of which is available.


Missing Air Crew Reports from WWII. Check with the agency for availability of these documents from Korea and Vietnam.


As with other archives, it is best to call and speak with an archivist for assistance in starting your search before actually going to the archive.


Other Air Force agencies which may have relevant information or documents are:


Air University Historian, 55 LeMay Plaza South, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112, 334-953-5262


Air Force Historian, 60 AMW/HO, Travis AFB, CA 94535, 707-424-3241, email:


Air Force Museum, 1100 Staatz Street, Building 489, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433, 513-255-4644


Air Combat Command, Historian, 162 Dodd Blvd., Ste 132, Langley AFB, VA 23665, 804-764-3186, email:


Many of these agencies also have websites.

Obtaining Unit Records: Marines


Unit diaries, which include rosters, through 1966 are located at the Marine Corps Historical Center. The records are arranged by month and year, and list the officers and enlisted men within a unit at the company level or the battalion/squadron level. These documents may be examined in person or may be requested in writing, one month and year per letter, and they will only accept one request per year for one month of records. Specify exact unit information and state that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act. Send or fax written requests to the Marine Corps Historical Center, Reference Section, Building 58, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC 20374-0580, 202-433-3483, Fax: 202-433-4691.

 Unit diaries and rosters from 1967 forward are available by written request only. The procedure above applies. Send requests to CMC HQ Marine Corps, Records Service Section, Code MMSB-10, "Unit Diaries", HQ, U.S. Marine Corps, 2008 Elliot Road, Suite 201, Quantico VA 22134-5030. 703-784-3934,3935,3939,3940.


Marine Corps operations reports, including plans, command diaries, command chronologies, and after action reports from 1964 are located at the Marine Corps Historical Center, Archives Section, Building 58, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC 20374, 202-433-4253. Call in advance and speak with the archivist about your request. Marine Corps reports through 1963 are located at the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, 301-837-3510, Fax: 301-713-7482. Again, call and speak with an archivist before sending a request or visiting.

Obtaining Unit Records: Navy


U.S. Navy Muster Rolls, the equivalent of unit rosters, are available from the following locations. The location of the records is based on date and on type of service, whether on a ship or not. Muster rolls from 1939 through 1966 (ships only) are located at the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100, 314-538-4141. U.S. Navy Muster Rolls from 1967 to 1975 are located at Bureau of Naval Personnel (PERS-093), Arlington Annex, Federal Building 2, Room 4531, Washington, DC 20370-5000. Muster Rolls from 1800-1966 (other than ships) are located at the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, 301-837-3510, 301-713-7482 Fax. The request must be made in writing. State that the request is a Freedom of Information Act Request and give complete unit information (as specific as possible), and month and year of the muster rolls that you are requesting. Because the quality of the records can be poor, it is advisable to ask for rosters a few months before and after the actual month you are looking for. There are usually no fees charged for "Freedom of Information Act Requests."  Turnaround time can be very slow. Plan on several months.


Deck logs, listing a monthly roster of officers, are accessed through the Textual Reference Branch of the National Archives. Address and phone/fax numbers are in the previous paragraph.


Cruise books for specific ships may be available from military reunion groups or the Navy Museum/Ship Histories, 1st Floor, Bldg 57, Washington Navy Yard, 901 M Street, SE, Washington, DC 20374. The New York Public Library Central Research Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018, also has a special collection devoted to these materials.


Passenger manifests for military on Navy ships are maintained by the National Personnel Records Center. Information on access can be obtained from either the National Personnel Records Center, Attn: Organizational Records Branch, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100 or from the National Archives, Seventh and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408, 202-501-5395, 202-208-1903 Fax.


Call and ask to speak with an Archivist specializing in the Vietnam War before going to the Archives. They can assist in determining whether materials you are interested in are available and explain how to obtain a researcher's card to examine the documents.


Veterans Grave Sites


The Department of Veterans Affairs has put the burial records of 3.2 million veterans online. They are buried in 120 national cemeteries and some state cemeteries. The records go back to the Civil War. However, nearly half of the Union dead from the Civil War are unidentified. If you are tracing an ancestor, the government has a search engine. You must know the last name. If you have more information, there is an advanced search available. Start your search at:



The American Battle Monuments Commission is the U.S. federal Office charged with maintenance of cemeteries and monuments Commemorating military actions since 1917. That includes 24 memorial sites in the United States, France, and Morocco; and 24 cemeteries in France, Belgium, England, Panama, Mexico, and the Philippines. Together

These cemeteries are the resting place of over 100,000 American soldiers and sailors.


Part of the online service of the American Battle Monuments Commission is three searchable databases of those killed in three 20th century wars: World War 1, World War 2, and the Korean War.


The searches themselves are the soul of simplicity. Just select the war (World War 1, World War 2, or Korea) and type in the surname. You are presented with a list of the casulaties in that war for people bearing that surname, with their full name, serial number, rank, date of death, and home state.


Clicking on the "Go" button next to the personal name, you will get a more complete explanation, including the person's unit, date and place of death and burial, and even any honors awarded during his or her service. The entries for Korean War casulaties are occasionally more detailed than the casualty entries for the two world wars.


These three searches can provide valuable data in themselves, and provide you with sufficient information to request a more full service file from the federal government.


American Battle Monuments Commission

Government Grave Marker Requests


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has revised its application form to make requesting a VA grave marker easier. The new form, Application For Standard Government Headstone or Marker (VA Form 40-1330), includes updated information about changes that expand eligibility for a government marker. The new form and instruction sheets also permit better communication between VA and veterans' families.


For deaths on or after September 11, 2001, Public Laws 107-103 and 107-330 made government markers available for use on veterans' graves that were already marked with privately furnished headstones or Markers. Previous law prevented VA from furnishing markers when a grave was already marked.


The laws require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to report to Congress by Feb. 1, 2006, on the effectiveness of this benefit and to recommend whether it should continue. One of the changes made to the application form will allow VA to report on this new benefit by tracking its use.


In January 2002, VA introduced a toll-free fax service for submitting applications. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as an alternative to regular mail. Instructions, as well as the fax number, 1-800-455-7143, are on the VA website at


The application form on the website can be filled in and printed for submitting by mail or fax. Questions about a headstone or marker application can be directed to VA's Memorial Programs Service applicant assistance unit at 1-800-697-6947.

Replacement Medals 


All honorably discharged veterans are entitled to a one time, free of charge replacement set of their authorized medals and ribbons. Submit request in writing to:  National Personnel Records Center, Attn: NRPMF, 9700 Page Ave, St. Louis, MO 36132-5100. Requests must include full name, service or SSN, dates of service and signed by the veteran. Request must be signed by the veteran, but it the veteran is deceased next of kin can sign the request. It is helpful if supporting documents are enclosed.


From another source:


Replacing Medals - Medals awarded while in active service will be issued by the appropriate service if requested by veterans or, if deceased, their next of kin. The veteran's full name should be printed or typed, so that it can be read clearly. The request must contain the signature of the veteran or the signature of the next of kin if the veteran is deceased. Include a copy of the military service records – this will have a list of all medals awarded.


Requests for Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard send to:
U.S. Navy Liaison Office
National Personnel Records Center
Room 3475
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.


Requests Army send to:                                               
U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center           
ATTN: ARPC-VSE                               
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100


Requests Air Force send to:

National Personnel Records Center

9700 Page Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Veterans Memorials


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC

was built from private donations collected by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial found.


After the Wall was dedicated, it became the property of the citizens of the USA and is maintained by the US National Park Service using tax dollars.


The National Park Service provides lawn mowing and landscaping services, Park Service Police, and National Park Rangers at the Wall. National Park Service volunteers also work at the Wall and get their uniforms, rubbing paper, directories, and “employee insurance” from the National Park Service. The National Park Service has funded such things as an array of expansion-contraction sensors behind each panel of the Wall.


Volunteers from a nearby chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America wash the Wall monthly. For a number of years, VVA Chapter 451 from Baltimore arranged for licensed electricians to donate their time and equipment to maintain and repair the lighting system at the Wall.


National Park Service employees set up the stage, chairs, and fences for ceremonies at the Wall.



Vietnam Veterans National Memorial In Angel Fire, New Mexico, was built in 1972 by Dr. David Westphall in honor of his son who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. For several years the memorial was operated by Disabled American Veterans, then a not-for-profit corporation. In 2004 the Memorial became a New Mexico State Park.



Women In Military Service to America -  This web site is about the Women's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery where all the women who have served in our nation's armed forces are individually and collectively honored. We also honor other women who have served in direct support of our armed forces, particularly during times of war or conflict, in a special way called "We Also Served.”Brigadier General Wilma Vaught – search by branch of service. Email:


Traveling Vietnam Memorials


There are four different organizations that operate “Traveling” scaled-down versions of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that tour the country, staying at a sponsored site for three to six days. Two organizations that had operated their own traveling Walls are no longer doing so; “Lake County Vetz” and Service Corporation International (SCI), a cemetery consortium



“The Moving Wall”, is a ½ scale replica of the Wall which was first displayed in 1984 and is operated by Vietnam Combat Veterans, Ltd. John Devitt, the president, has constructed five Moving Walls which have traveled to Saipan, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, and about 700 locations in the continental United States. Two structures of The Moving Wall are in operation this year. This year’s fee for a 6-day visit is $3500.



“American Veterans Traveling Tribute” is a 5/8 scale replica of the Wall. The AVTT display includes the world’s largest POW/MIA flag.



“The Wall That Heals” Operated by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial fund was built in 1997 with donations from the VFW and Turner Television. Harley Davidson and Target Department Stores provide funding. This year’s fee for a 3-day visit is $6225 plus hotel accommodations for the travel team.



Vietnam Wall Experience” Is the largest of the traveling Walls, at ¾ scale. Operated by Dignity Memorial® funeral, cremation and cemetery providers, local arrangements are usually made by one of their local franchise cemeteries or funeral homes.


On-Line Vietnam Memorials


Several web sites provide visitors the ability to view and publish photographs, poems, letters, citations, and other remembrances to those who are named on the Wall.



Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page Opened in November, 1996 and is now operated by the 9th Infantry Division Alumni Association. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page is dedicated to providing the most up to date and accurate information regarding the Names on The Wall in Washington DC. Every effort is made to display the info in the dignified manner that it deserves.


The Virtual Wall Opened March 23, 1997. Is operated by a not-for-profit organization, Ltd. Is run by a small number of volunteers who do the work and fund the operation from their own pockets without accepting donations. The phrase “The Virtual Wall” is a US Registered Trademark of, Ltd., like the trademarks “Mc Donald’s”, “Verizon”, “Harley Davidson” and thousands of other names that uniquely identify a product or service.



Remembrances on VVMF’s web site – Also called “The Vietnam Veterans Digital Legacy”, opened November 11, 1998 as a joint venture by WinStar Communications and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.


On-Line Vietnam War Casualty Databases


No-Quarter: The Vietnam Casualty Search Page began operating in 1996 and is run by a small number of veteran volunteers who do not accept donations. No-Quarter provides both basic (simple) search and Advanced Search capabilities. The site purposely has minimum graphics to improve speed.


Coffelt Database is named after Richard Coffelt who organized a handful of volunteers and databases ( including Gary Roush's database). The most complete and most up-to-date Vietnam War casualty database is available for anybody to download for free. This is the only database that has small-unit (to company or troop level) information (about 90% complete) and is updated every few weeks to reflect corrections and newly-found small unit information submitted by those who leave memorial pages on The Virtual Wall.


Casualty statistics to include NVA and ARVN,

broken down in various ways:


View The Wall Is a photographic record of the wall, searchable and zoomable.


Veteran Service Organizations


The American Legion - was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, and wartime veteran’s organization. A community-service organization, which now numbers nearly 3 million members - men and women - in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These Posts are organized into 55 departments - one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines. On the web- - 700 North Pennsylvania Street P.O. Box 1055 Indianapolis, IN 46206 317-630-1200



Veterans of Foreign Wars – (VFW) National Headquarters - 406 West 34th Street Kansas City, Missouri 64111 –  For over a century, the VFW has helped our nation's veterans by providing programs and services which: Strengthen comradeship among our members, perpetuate the memory and history of our fallen soldiers, foster patriotism, defend the Constitution and promote service to our communities and our country. On the web –



Vietnam Veterans of America the largest veteran organization dedicated specifically to issues of Vietnam War veterans. VVA has hundreds of local chapters, an active process to lobby for veterans’ rights, and an education program.



Veterans of the Vietnam War is a veterans organization founded in 1978 to have the service and special needs of Vietnam War Veterans recognized and acknowledged. Many chapters worldwide and services for veterans.



VietNow - is active in legislative, PTSD, and other veterans’ issues. Recently donated $100,000, a major piece of their treasury, to help fund Sons and Daughters In Touch trip to Vietnam in 2003.



National Center for PTSD - The National Center for PTSD is a program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and carries out a broad range of activities in research, training, and public information. Extensive research and education on post-traumatic stress disorder. On the web -



Agent Orange – information through Veterans Administration – on the web -


Vietnam Areas of Operation Maps


Many are online at the following web site:


Perhaps the best and most complete set of Viet Nam era maps is available through a link on the home page for the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association:


or directly at:




Department of Defense – Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office


To include: Personnel Missing - Southeast Asia (PMSEA) Database



National Alliance of Families home page



National League of POW/MIA Families – The League’s sole purpose is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.  1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 919Washington, DC 20036-5504 – Tel: 202-223-6846 – Update Line – 202-659-0133. Email – Web –



Operation Just Cause - Operation Just Cause is a non-funded assembly of persons from around the world, united in their desire to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing and unaccounted during the Vietnam War and all wars.  On the web:



Task Force Omega, Inc. - was incorporated as a national organization in Virginia in 1983 by POW/MIA family members, Vietnam Veterans and concerned citizens. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt Prisoner of War organization having met the requirements of Section 501(c)3. On the web -   TFO – 14043 North 46th Drive – Glendale, AZ 85306 - Email –   



Current MIA Status.updated approximately monthly from DPMO official records and newspaper articles about recently returned or recently identified remains.       



Veterans Search


Veterans are likely to have registered with the Veteran's Administration. Compose a "double blind" letter with a very simple note asking the veteran to contact you (the VA stresses brief and simple) and place it in an unaddressed, stamped, unsealed envelope along with an empty envelope, that one self-addressed, stamped, and unsealed. Put that envelope in a larger one with a letter identifying the veteran to the best of your ability, and send or take it to your local VA office. If the VA can identify the veteran they will forward your note.


If you know where the veteran attended Boot Camp, you can try and contact that Army Post for graduation boot camp books... who shipped out to VN with the veteran? Many from boot camp were assigned to a Unit together once in country.


If you are a vet looking for buddies or the family of buddies check your own service record. It contains the names of those who received awards with you or received orders at the same time, that sort of thing. This might help positively identify someone


Veteran’s reunions are a good source. You can find smaller unit reunions in the back of most veterans groups magazines (ex. Amer. Legion, VFW, etc). There are also very large reunions held every year for Vietnam veterans in Mellbourn Florida and Kokomo Indiana. The VHPA and VHCMA reunions move annually, but you can find out where they will be from the web pages.


Vietnam Veterans of America – “ The Veteran”, subscription available: The VVA Veteran – P.O. Box 64306 –   Baltimore, MD 21264-4306 - $20.00 per year – source for connecting you to a Vietnam Veteran –“Did you know my Dad” - Section of magazine includes VVA Veteran Locator – 50 words or less, “looking for” please include date, name, address, city, state, and zip. Include phone number only if you would like it published.  On the web: email: – Look for VVA/AVVA Chapter in your area. VVA/AVVA, community services non-profit organizations. Vietnam Veterans of America or Associate Vietnam Veterans of America - 1224 M Street NW - Washington, DC 20005-5183 –On the web VVA- – AVVA-


Other organizations:


            National League of Families

            1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 919

            Washington, DC  20036-5504

            Update Line 202-659-0133


            American Ex-Prisoners of War  (possible links to friends

            National Headquarters                          of POW/MIAs)

            3201 East Pioneer Parkway, Suite 40

            Arlington, TX  76010-5396


            email -


            NAMPOW  (possible link to friends of POW/MIAs)

            c/o Mike McGrath

            19010 White Fawn Drive

            Monument, CO  80132

            email -


Finally, try some of the search, locator, and information sites listed later. This is only a sampling of what is out there.

Family Search Techniques


You can check with the following organization to see if any family member has registered with them.


Sons and Daughters In Touch:


Find the casualty’s unit web site if there is one. Sign the guest book, send mail to the webmaster, join the unit organization, try ways to make contact and see if any member has personal information on the casualty or on his family.


A local newspaper in a casualty’s home of record may have something on the individual (obituaries/articles, friends may be listed) or even on the family that might provide leads. A personal letter to the editor requesting assistance can help (with your address, email address, phone number, etc.) – one successful example resulted in an article by the editor that friends mailed on and contact was made.


Alternatively a public library in a casualty’s home of record might have a copy of an obituary. Try and contact a research librarian and request a copy of the obituary, providing as much information as you can to help locate it. Obituaries will probably list next of kin, and may possibly list where they lived at that time. Another thing libraries may be able to offer is address listings from old telephone directories around the time of death and, say, up to 5 years before that.


If the individual may have been active in the church and you know which faith, they may have a history of Church members as well as Memorial Services. You could check with listed churches in the home of record.


Try searching the last name in web site directories, using both the email option and the address options. There are a lot of these sites; a few of them are:








Email people whose emails you get, starting perhaps with the home of record, then with the state of record, then beyond. Some answer and some don’t, but worth a try.


You can work up a brief note that will fit on a post card and mail out to the addresses you find that do not have email addresses. Post card size keeps it more affordable and brief without needing to be opened stands a better chance of being looked without being automatically grouped with junk mail.


You can check with the high schools in the home of record - they may be able to provide home address information. Might the high school have a web site? An alumni organization?


The funeral homes in the home of record might also be a source of information. If you have luck with the obituary they should tell you which one was used. If not you can try them all.


If you learn where a casualty was buried the cemetery will have care and plot ownership records. In this or any situation where an organization might have the contact data you need you can try composing a “double blind” letter. Include a very simple note asking the recipient to contact you (brief and simple is best) and place it in an unaddressed, stamped, unsealed envelope along with an empty envelope, that one self-addressed, stamped, and unsealed. Put that envelope in a larger one with a letter to the cemetery offices explaining what you are trying to do, and ask that they address and forward your included package to the owner of the plot. You can point out a lack of return address prevents your obtaining the final delivery address by default, and invite them to read your letter to the plot owner for reassurance before sealing it, addressing it, and mailing it. Finally, you might include a personal address label and ask the cemetery to mail your included letter back to you directly if they still object to forwarding it. This will at least give you positive closure of that avenue.


Check with the home of record VFW or Legion to see if they kept records of men from the area killed in Viet Nam. They may have other information as well.


Create a web page for the veteran with links to notify you.


Join AVVA (VVA can no longer have associate members) to receive "The VVA Veteran" magazine. Read the 'Locator' in "The VVA Veteran" and look for others looking for people in the veteran’s unit and get in touch with them to compare

lists. Post your own note in the ‘Locator.’


The Secretaries of the Military Departments maintain a military casualty office for each Military Service as the focal point on all casualty matters. The casualty officers are the first points of contact for family members and will address all inquiries regarding their cases. They work as a liaison between the family and all the other government agencies working the POW/MIA accounting issue. They consist of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine casualty offices and in the case of civilians, the Department of State. This is also how to write to a returned POW, or to return a POW/MIA bracelet to one; or to write to the family of someone who is POW/MIA. To do this you should send your letter/bracelet in a properly stamped envelope to the appropriate branch of service with a cover letter asking them to forward your letter to (give the person’s name) or to the family of (give the person’s name). Due to the privacy act, Casualty officers cannot give out addresses. They can and do forward mail on request.




            Lt.Col. Rosemary Salak, USA

            HQDA (DAPC-PED-P)

            Alexandria, VA 22331-0432

            800-892-2490 or metro area:






            Lt. JG Lisa Flores

            Navy Department, NMPC-N64DD

            Washington, DC 20370-5640

            800-443-9298 or metro area:






            Major Mark Ward

            ATTN: Ann Hammers

            HQ USMC (Code: MHP-10)

            Washington, DC 20380-0001

            800-847-1597 or metro area:






            Mr. George Atkinson


            Randolph AFB, TX 78150-6001

            800-531-5501 or in TX:






            Mr. Michael Beatty or Ms. Jenny Foo

            Department of State, VLC

            Washington, DC 20520


Web Sites

            VHFCN: Vietnam Helicopter Flight Crew Network

VHPA: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association

            VHCMA: Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association

            Heli-Vets - Vietnam Helicopter Veterans Base Camp

            Veteran and family search.

            Social Security Death Index

            Social Security Death Index     

            High School Alumni – Fee based service:
US Army Lost and Found (bulletin board)

Vietnam Veteran Casualty Search Page               

            Air Force e-mail Locator

            American Veterans Confirmation Service

            Marine Guest Book

            Mom's Buddy Search and Message Board

            Names of Vietnam and Gulf War vets

            National Alliance

            National Archives and Records Administration

            National Personnel Records Center

            NCOC Locator

            Info and Search Aids Index

            Veteran Search - American

            World Wide Web Vietnam Veteran Location Service

            Military locator service   

            Veterans Locator Ads    

            Vietnam Veterans of Florida State

            Vietnam Veterans of America on the Internet

            Veteran/Military Web Sites
Army Home Page
Navy Home Page
Marines Home Page
Air Force Home Page