HELPFUL TIPS TO SURVIVORS
If you are attempting to reconstruct a military history of a veteran , here are some suggestions:
1. Contact a DAV, VFW, American Legion, AMVETS or other military organization representative in your area. Website addresses are listed on home page for contacts in your area. They will have the necessary forms for requesting military records. Be certain to ask for all military and medical records, unit rosters, unit and flight orders, travel orders, morning reports, 201 master query files and medals and commendations (anything you can think of) under the Freedom of Information Act. The representative will not be able to do your search but can lead you in the right direction. If veteran was issued a serial number instead of a social security number as ID, provide only the serial number. Give only the veterans full name, rank, service number (either social security or serial no.), enlistment and separation dates of service and residential home address at time of enlistment. Request unit histories from the veteran’s branch of service. (Another possible source for medical records is directly from the hospital. I went directly to the Medical Records Department and requested them from the staff. They told me they should have been forwarded to the NTPR ,but had not been, and 25+ years after his death was able to get them.)
Check military memorabilia for certificates or medals (pins) awarded to a few participants.
2. Contact you local library, State Historical Society Library, University Library or Regional VA Office for copies of DNA reports of the various test that you suspect the veteran might have been involved in. Included on site are listings of the tests and dates and whether CONUS (Nevada Test Site) or Oceanic (Pacific Test Site). Keep in mind that these reports where politically forced publications and are very much sanitized, heavily edited reports on the tests, particularly in respect to the levels of radiation exposures and the protective measures and badging supposedly done. It is about the only official acknowledgment the government has made so far and does list participating groups, (cannot vouch for their completeness). In spite of their limitations they may still offer information.
3. Do a chronological chart of all the information gathered. This was the only way to make head or tail of all the information gathered. You will never have all the information the government has, but you can begin to see a story line develop. See example of the time line chronological chart.
|Units and orders||Remarks||Medical reports|
|Oct.10,’51 assgn’d “SAC”- 47th Air Div. 509 Bomb Wing “M” -509 Air Ref. Sqd. Walker AFB, Roswell, N.M. PAFSC 431311B||from AF history : 509 AR Sqd was organized on June 16, 1952||Vac: Typhus & cholera|
|Oct. 17,’51 initiation of clearance “Secret” to “Top Secret”|
|Dec.15,’51 Assgn’d 3345 Tec Trng Grp Chanute AFB, Ill. 3357 Stu Sqd.||10 day leave|
|Jan.8,’52 handcarry departure certificate to Walker AFB-followed by “AMC164C temp”||DNA report;|
JTF 132 activated Jan.2,’52 in Washington D.C.
|Vac; small pox & yellow fever|
|Mar.19,’52 TDY England- orders has processing forms- component of RAF|
|Apr.22,’52 clearance granted by 17 OSI for “Top Secret”||TUMBLER/SNAPPER (NTS)|
Apr 1 ABLE
Apr 15 BAKER
Apr 22 CHARLIE
May 1 DOG
|May 29,’52 – 6 pages of names cleared for “Secret” & “Top Secret” for 8th AF operation order 22-25 dtd 19 May,’52|
|Sept 16,’52 “supplemental data sheet” has old 0241 and new 0342 numbers believe they are FSSD numbers||“IVY” (PPG)|
Nov. 1, MIKE
Nov. 16 KING
|DNA report: Oct.3 (10) KB-29 & (2) B-29 report to Kwajalein (Guam)|