May 30, 2002
National Archives to Accept Donation of Southeast Asia Casualty Database
WHAT: The National Archives and Records Administration will accept the donation of an electronic data file of U.S. military personnel who died as a result of hostilities or other causes during the conflict in Southeast Asia. The working press is invited to attend the ceremony.
WHEN: 2:30 P.M. June 5, 2002
WHERE: Archivist's Reception Room
National Archives Building
Pennsylvania Avenue at 7th Street, NW
WHO: The research team who compiled the database, Richard Coffelt, Richard Arnold, and David Argabright will present the records to Dr. Michael Kurtz, the Assistant Archivist of the United States.
BACKGROUND: The database complements NARA's existing holdings of electronic records from the Vietnam War era and provides additional information about the soldiers who died during and after the conflict. The database identifies the ship or unit of more than 50,000 of the 58,000 Armed Services fatalities, most of the identifications being to the company/battery/troop or similar level. No other centralized source for this information exists anywhere. Much of this information is being released into the public domain for the first time. When used in conjunction with the Combat Areas Casualties File, a database in the holdings of NARA that identifies and gives personal information about the deceased servicemen and women, researchers will be able to identify the subordinate units below the major command of the soldiers who died. The database also identifies those soldiers who were decorated posthumously.
The research team spent years searching through many series of textual and electronic records currently in the holdings of the National Archives and the military. The team reviewed letters of condolences, personnel folders, mortuary records, memorial lists, medical records, and many other records. The results of their research will honor those servicemen and women who gave their lives during the conflict, assist veterans in locating their own records and those of their compatriots, and aid historians in interpreting the era.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.archives.gov.