Publications

Reference Information Paper 82

A Finding Aid to Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Military Casualties and Burials

Table of Contents

Endnotes

1. This section is based on information found in a Department of the Army publication and in Record Group 160, Records of Headquarters Army Service Forces (ASF), unless otherwise noted.

Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II: Final Report, 7 December 1941-31 December, 1946, by the Department of the Army, contains statistics that reflect all changes made in the Adjutant General's Office (AGO) card file records through December 32, 1949, including a reconciliation of the card records in AGO's Strength Accounting Branch and its Casualty Branch.

Record Group 160 (ASF, Office of the Command General, Control Division, Administrative Management Branch) includes the series, historical file, 1941-46, which contains the following two reports and four press releases:

  • "The ASF in World War II: Volume II," Chapter D, pp. 92-96
  • "AGO Section for Annual Report of the ASF for Fiscal Year 1945, 1 July 1944-30 June 1945 (Compiled in Policy and Historical Branch, AGO June 1945)," pp. 15-22
  • OCTOBER 20, 1943--"All Information Available Given to Next of Kin on Army Casualties"
  • NOVEMBER 20, 1943--"Missing in Action Constitute Army's Greatest Casualty Problem"
  • OCTOBER 18, 1944--"Speed, Care, Sympathy Mark Delivery of Casualty Messages"
  • NOVEMBER 19, 1944--"Emergency Addressees of Casualties to Get Detail Reports From Overseas."

2. The Quartermaster General (Maj. Gen. E.B. Gregory) to Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, August 10, 1944; file P6-3 (1942-1944); general correspondence, Jan. 1926-Dec. 1951; 1942-46 subseries; Headquarters Records, Correspondence, 1842-1952; Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Record Group 52; National Archives, Washington, DC.

3. The task facing the military was formidable. As of Apr. 6, 1946, there were 353 American temporary military cemeteries that contained remains of 241,500 war dead. As of Feb. 28, 1947, American war dead still "overseas" was estimated to be 294,690. Of that number there were:

buried in 200 U.S. military, Allied, and civilian cemeteries 268,573
buried in isolated location 471
located and identified 251,186
located and unidentified 17,858
not yet located (approximate figure) 26,117


The source for these figures is The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1950.

4. Rear Adm. L. Sheldon, Jr., Acting Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery to The Quartermaster General, U.S. Army, August 15, 1944; file P6-3 (1942-1944); general correspondence, Jan. 1946-Dec. 1951; 1942-46 subseries; Headquarters Records, Correspondence, 1842-1952; Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Record Group 52; National Archives, Washington, DC.

5."Meeting Called by Quartermaster General, U.S. Army, Concerning Return of Overseas Dead," August 28, 1944; notes by W.S. Douglass, Civilian Assistant to the Surgeon General [Navy]; file P6-3 (1942-1944); general correspondence, Jan. 1946-Dec. 1951; 1942-46 subseries; Headquarters Records, Correspondence, 1842-1952; Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Record Group 52; National Archives, Washington, DC.

6.In 1946 Congress provided that the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) would extend its operations to include World War II dead. See the description of ABMC records (Record Group 117, p. 22) for additional information.

7. W.S. Douglass to Col. R.P. Harbold, Director, Memorial Division, OQMG, September 29, 1944; and Harbold to Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, October 16, 1944; file P6-3 (1942-1944); general correspondence, Jan. 1926-Dec. 1951; 1942-46 subseries; Headquarters Records, Correspondence, 1842-1952; Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Record Group 52; National Archives, Washington, DC.

8.Ibid.

9. For a more complete account of these records in context, see "Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees" (Reference Information Paper 80), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 1992, especially Appendix C.

10. For greater detail on the history of U.S. Navy logbooks and a list of those in National Archives custody, see the National Archives publication Special List 44: List of Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Miscellaneous Units, 1801-1947, Washington, DC, 1978.

11. For more specific information on searching for references to individuals in World War II logbooks consult Benjamin L. DeWhitt, "Genealogy Notes: World War II Ships' Logs," Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives, Winter 1992 (Vol. 24 No. 4), pp. 400-404.

12. "ELLS" denotes the first four letters of the name of the system's originator; "DRAN" stands for "Direct-Reference-Alphabetical-Numerical." The system is complex and a bit cumbersome, but its use is not vital to accessing information on World War II casualties in this series. A full explanation of ELLS-DRAN may be found in Records of the United States Marine Corps; National Archives Inventory, No. 2, National Archives and Records Service, Washington, DC, 1970, Appendix A.

13. For more extensive information on records regarding American POWs in World War II, see "Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees" (Reference Information Paper 80), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 1992. It contains a box list of the contents of this series.

14. From Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II: Final Report, 7 December 1941-31 December 1946 (published 1 June 1953), Department of the Army.

15. This figure is for those who were wounded, but survived the war.

16. This figure is for those who were listed as MIA during the war and never returned to duty.

17. Excludes Alaska Department, U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces, and China-Burma-India Theater.

18. From casualty statistics and lists, 1941-45 (35 ft.); subseries "World War I [and World War II] by State" (8 in.); Records of the Casualty Section; Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Record Group 24; National Archives, Washington, DC.


Note: Compiled by Benjamin L. DeWhitt. Published by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 1993.

Web version prepared 1999. Additions and changes incorporated in the Web version are between brackets [] and in italics.

Publications >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.