39th Bomb Group (VH)
Research Tips

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This page is to help those wanting to doing research into a family member's military service an idea of where to start. If you find any other sources for information that you feel maybe useful to others please send it to with the URL and the words "research link" in the subject line so it can be added to this page.
My thanks to for providing the information for this page.
Before contacting any facility, try to put as much information down on paper that might assist them in locating the records you are interested in. Do your best to provide full name with middle initial, rank, branch of service, dates of service, units served in, etc. The more data you can provide makes their job that much easier - and the chances of obtaining the results you want that much greater.

This is where you obtain Service Records (201 file) located in St. Louis. Note that a fire in 1973 destroyed many records, nearly 80% of them. You'll need their Standard Form 180 which can be downloaded from their site. If you are not a family member you will be prevented by the Privacy Act of 1974 in the amount of information you can obtain via this source.

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records

9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

If the individual you are researching was killed in action, the disinterment file will have information about the identification and reburial process. This is 293 file, Individual Deceased Personnel File.

The U.S. Total Army Personnel Command
U.S. Total Army Personnel Command Attention: TAPC-PAO (FOIA)
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22332-0404

National Archives and Records Administration
Textual Reference Branch
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Phone 301-713-7250

You can request the following:

  • Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR) if your research involves the loss of an aircraft in a combat situation and not in Allied territory, the MACR will be invaluable. This document was generated shortly after the loss of the aircraft (usually within a day or so) and lists the crew roster, aircraft, and basic details of the loss including eye witness statements if they were available.
  • Accident Reports - sometimes difficult to locate, maintained by the National Archives on microfilm
  • Information on Replacement Decorations and Awards can also be found on the National Archives and Records Administration web site Click here

Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA): Located at Maxwell AFB Alabama. A great potential source for unit information and for purchasing microfilm records. They are apparently understaffed and replies may take five to six months, but the wait is well worth it.

Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA)
600 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, Alabama 36112-6424

In conjunction with the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, which is the primary repository of historical information, the office responds to requests for information from private organizations, government agencies, and the general public Mailing address AFHRA/RSA 600 Chennault Circle Maxwell AFB, Alabama 36112-6424 Air Force History Support Office (AFHSO): Located at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.
Air Force History Support Office (AFHSO):

Reference and Analysis Division
200 McChord Street, Box 94
Bolling AFB, DC 20332-1111 Phone 202-404-2261
USAF & USAAF Aircraft Accident Reports 1918-1955

If your research involves a plane crash in training, transit, or combat, I am told these guys are great. It is a fee based service, but from what I understand they have a comprehensive database of unique materials and provide great service.