How to Search United States World War II Military Records – FamilySearch January 8, 2020

I saw this on FamilySearch today – How to Search United States World War II Military Records: Original article over 1,000 words.

January 8, 2020  – by  Amie Tennant

With over 16 million Americans who served in some capacity during World War II, you are likely find an ancestor or two in the records that were created. You can use the World War II military records search form below to find records of your ancestors’ service.

World War II U.S. Military Records Search

First Name Last Name
Place Year


If you don’t know of anyone in your family who served during the war, consider asking your family or looking at your family tree for those who would have been the right age to have registered for the draft or who may have served. Men born between about 1877 and 1927, including residents of the United States who were not yet citizens, were within the traditional age range to have registered for the draft.

Learn more about different types of military records and what they can tell you about your ancestors.

Records at Home


As you begin your search for more information about your ancestor, you may want to explore our article on Basic Military Search Strategies.

United States World War II Records: Draft Registration

On September 16, 1940, the United States Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. This law instituted a national draft that required all men ages 21–65 to register. Men who were selected were required to serve for at least one year. When the United States entered the war, the draft was extended.


There were seven draft registrations during World War II. They included the following:

Draft Registration 1: October 16, 1940; men ages 21–31 were required to register.

Draft Registration 2: July 1, 1941; men registered who had reached age 21 since the last draft registration.

Draft Registration 3: February 16, 1942; men ages 20–21 and 35–44 were added to the register.

Draft Registration 4: April 27, 1942; men ages 45–65, who were not previously eligible for military service, were now required to register. This registration is sometimes referred to as the “Old Man’s Draft.”

Draft Registration 5: June 30, 1942; men ages 18–20 were required to register.

Draft Registration 6: December 10, 1942; men who turned 18 since the last registration were added to the register.

Draft Registration 7: November 16–December 31, 1943; men ages 18–44 who were United States citizens living abroad were required to register.


Official Military Personnel Files


If a family member served in World War II, the next step in your research is the National Personnel Records Center and Military Personnel Records in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the repository of personnel files for discharged and deceased veterans of all branches of service.

A wonderful guide online will walk you through the process of requesting your loved one’s military service file. For a quick overview, here’s what you need to know.

A military service file is called the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). It contains much information about your ancestor’s time in service, such as unit assignments and transfers, awards, and discharge papers, just to name a few.

Unfortunately, on July 12, 1973, a fire nearly destroyed the building that housed the OMPF. The fire destroyed and damaged many of the records of people who served in the United States Army during World War II. Because the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard records were stored elsewhere, they were not affected.

Fees are associated with requesting records from the archive so be sure to check out the fees before submitting your request.


Individual Deceased Personnel Files


Other Useful Resources


About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
This entry was posted in Bloggers, Genealogy, Military History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How to Search United States World War II Military Records – FamilySearch January 8, 2020

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    So awesome that’s there’s a way to access military records of WW2 era

    Liked by 1 person

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