A 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis destroyed the only copies of the service records of most WWI soldiers

  • 80% of the records of army veterans discharged from 11/1/1912 to 1/1/1960 were lost
  • U.S. Navy and Marine Corps records escaped damage

Check alternative records

  • Pay vouchers – can can provide the veteran’s name, service number, dates of service and character of service
  • Personnel Files – can include transfers, organizations, battle participation, duty stations, promotions, etc.
  • Service Summary Files

For ancestors who died while in the military from 1915-1939, search for Burial Case Files

Fold3 contains more than 82.5 million records related to WWI. You can target these records by starting your search here

  • Databases include:
    • Registers of Officers Who Served in the US Army 1798-1969
    • Gorrell’s History – includes historical narratives, reports and photographs for the Air Service in the American Expeditionary Forces
    • US Expeditionary Force, North Russia
    • Navy and Marine Corps Officer Registers
    • and many more…

The Library of Congress has ditized WWI newspaper clippings at World War History: Newspaper Clippings, 1914 to 1926



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