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Archiver > APG > 2008-08 > 1220118315

From: "Joel S. Russell" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Looking for Military Records on Deceased WWII Veteran
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 13:45:15 -0400
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Don't give up on the NARA, over the years I put requests for my
father's records three or four times. Each time I got the same
response as you describe, that is except the last one. The reply to
that his records were in the worst part of the fire, but that some
did exist. They offered no guarantee of the condition, warning me
that they might be unreadable from water damage and burning. However
the stated that if I sent in $50 they would send me copies of what
they had, or I could come to the depository in St. Louis and look at
the originals. I sent in the $50 and after a few months I received a
nice fat package with his records. Obviously some did not survive
the fire, but I got most of his records, some were partially burned
and some had water damage, but they were readable. It answered
several questions I had about my father's time in service.

Another route to take is to submit a FFOIA request. I had to use one
of those when I wanted information on my great-grandfather's brother
who was a career enlisted man from 1883 to 1913. Normal requests got
me nothing, even though I had his unit and locations of service. The
FFOIA request took quite a while, probably about a year to get the
last records, but were well worth it. This man had served in China
during the Boxer Rebellion as well as time in the Philippines during
the Spanish American War. One of the major items I received was his
medical records which painted quite an interesting story.

I suspect you've already done this, but have you contacted the 80th
Division Veterans Association? Robert T. Murrell was, maybe still
is, their National Secretary. He compiled histories of the
Regiments, including one on the 318th. The last email I have for him
was . Also check out their web site at

Good luck,


At 12:12 PM 8/30/2008, Christopher T. Smithson wrote:
>Hi --
>I have been looking for information about my great-uncle's service in
>WII, Howard Franklin Burkman, a native of Berks Couty, Pennsylvania. I
>sent a request to the NARA for a copy of his DD214 and any other records
>about his service. I provided his Service Number, Social Security
>Number, VA Claim number, his date of birth, date of death, and they came
>back saying that they wanted me to reconstruct his medical records and
>that they also could not find his DD214.
>I found out that he entered the service at Allentown, PA in 1942 and
>served in the 318th Army Infantry of the 80th Divison in Company J. He
>was discharged at Camp Pickett in Virginia in August of 1945. He also
>recieved the Purple Heart.
>He was born in Berks County, PA on April 11, 1921 and died in September
>1964 in Reading, PA. He was married twice and both spouses have since
>passed away.
>Where else can I look to find information? I recieved the above
>information from the Funeral Home in Shillington, PA from what they had
>written down on a piece of paper in his file with no copy of the DD214.
>Howard was buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Spring Twp., Berks
>County, PA. He has no stone.
>Thank you,
>Christopher T. Smithson
>127 N. Main Street
>Port Deposit, Maryland 21904-1211
>(410) 378-2733 (Home)
>(410) 690-1299 (Cell)
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