Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, 1941-


(Record Group 389)
1920-75, 1991-92 (bulk 1941-75)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 389.1 Administrative History
  • 389.2 General Records 1941-63
    • 389.2.1 Records of the Administrative Division
    • 389.2.2 Records of the Legal Office
    • 389.2.3 Records of the Technical Information Office
    • 389.2.4 Records of the Budget and Fiscal Branch
    • 389.2.5 Records of the Budget and Statistical Section
    • 389.2.6 Records of the Information Branch
  • 389.3 Records of the Military Government Division 1942-48
  • 389.4 Records of the Prisoner of War Division 1941-75, 1991-92
    • 389.4.1 Records of the Operations Branch
    • 389.4.2 Records of the Legal Branch
    • 389.4.3 Records of the Labor and Liaison Branch
    • 389.4.4 Records of the Special Projects Branch
    • 389.4.5 Records of the Italian Service Units
    • 389.4.6 Records of the Prisoner of War Information Bureau
    • 389.4.7 Records of the Enemy Prisoner of War Information Bureau
    • 389.4.8 Records of the American Prisoner of War Information Branch
  • 389.5 Records of the Military Police Division 1942-65
  • 389.6 Records of the Provost Division 1942-54
  • 389.7 Records of the Internal Security Division 1937-50
  • 389.8 Records of the Correction Division 1920-63
  • 389.9 Machine Readable Records (General) 1942-46

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389.1 Administrative History

Established: In the War Department, under the Chief of Staff, by War Department memorandum, July 3, 1941.

Transfers: To the Chief of Administrative Services, Services of Supply (SOS), effective March 9, 1942, by War Department Circular 59, March 2, 1942, as part of an army reorganization under EO 9082, February 28, 1942; to Army Service Forces (ASF, formerly SOS), by General Order 14, War Department, March 12, 1943; to Deputy Chief of Staff for Service Commands, ASF, by Circular 118, ASF, November 12, 1943; to Chief of Staff, ASF, by Circular 238, ASF, June 25, 1945; to Office of the Director of Personnel and Administration, War Department General Staff (WDGS), as an administrative staff and service, upon abolishment of ASF, effective June 11, 1946, by Circular 138, War Department, May 14, 1946, in the War Department reorganization pursuant to EO 9722, May 13, 1946; with WDGS to the Department of the Army (formerly the War Department) in the newly established National Military Establishment (NME) by the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 495), July 26, 1947; to General Staff, U.S. Army (formerly WDGS) by Circular 1, Department of the Army, September 18, 1947; with Department of the Army to the Department of Defense (formerly NME) by National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 579), August 10, 1949; to Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, Personnel (formerly Office of the Director of Personnel and Administration), effective March 1, 1950, by Circular 12, Department of the Army, February 28, 1950, as confirmed by Special Regulation 10-5-1, Department of the Army, April 11, 1950; with G-1 and other general, special, administrative, and technical staff units to Army Staff, new collective designation for all organizations responsible to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, by the Army Organization Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 263), June 28, 1950, as confirmed by General Order 97, November 13, 1951; to newly established Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, effective January 3, 1956, by General Order 70, Department of the Army, December 27, 1955, as confirmed by Change 13 to Special Regulation 10-5-1 (April 11, 1950), Department of the Army, December 27, 1955; with other administrative staffs to special staff status by Army Regulation 10-5, Department of the Army, January 2, 1963.

Functions: Administered army-wide programs relating to protective services, law enforcement, traffic control, and prisoners of war. Directed the military police. Maintained security in privately owned industrial facilities important to national defense.

Abolished: Effective May 20, 1974, by General Order 10, Department of the Army, May 8, 1974.

Successor Agencies: Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.

Finding Aids: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General in Helene L. Bowen, Mary Joe Head, Olive Liebman, and Jessie T. Midkiff, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Army Staff, 1939- ," NM 3 (1962), pp. 38-42; supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

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389.2 General Records
1941-63

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389.2.1 Records of the Administrative Division

Textual Records: Security-classified and formerly security- classified central decimal correspondence, 1941-62 (136 ft.), with indexes. Unclassified central decimal correspondence, 1941- 62 (211 ft.), with indexes. Personnel requirements and workload reports, 1943-52. Historical file, 1941-58. Military police training course theses, 1958-63. Records of the Provost Marshal's School, Fort Gordon, GA, 1951-62.

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389.2.2 Records of the Legal Office

Textual Records: Correspondence relating to the care and treatment of American and enemy prisoners of war, 1943-45. Correspondence relating to the maintenance of internal security, 1942-45. Records relating to the Provost Marshal General's participation in the preparation of the Geneva Conventions, 1946- 49.

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389.2.3 Records of the Technical Information Office

Textual Records: Radio scripts, press releases, and newspaper clippings relating to publicity activities, 1942-45.

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389.2.4 Records of the Budget and Fiscal Branch

Textual Records: Budget estimates and justifications, 1944-46.

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389.2.5 Records of the Budget and Statistical Section

Textual Records: Records relating to the military justice system, 1945-58. Statistical reports of general prisoners, 1945-58. Monthly recidivism reports, 1949-55. Reports of parole violations, 1947-58.

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389.2.6 Records of the Information Branch

Textual Records: Records of the Alien Enemy Information Bureau, consisting of records relating to Japanese, German, Italian, and other alien civilian internees during World War II, 1941-46.

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389.3 Records of the Military Government Division
1942-48

Textual Records: General decimal correspondence, 1942-46. Records of the Training Branch relating to training of personnel in civil administration at selected universities, 1942-48. Correspondence of the School of Military Government, Charlottesville, VA, and its successor, the School of Government of Occupied Areas, Carlisle Barracks, PA, 1942-46. Microfilm copy of German-language textbooks for schools in Germany, 1944 (24 rolls). Publications and background papers relating to civil affairs and military government in occupied areas, 1942-46, including History of Military Government Training, 5 vols., 1945, and an unpublished manuscript history, "American Military Government of Occupied Germany, 1918-20," with a microfilm library card index, n.d. (1 roll).

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389.4 Records of the Prisoner of War Division
1941-75

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389.4.1 Records of the Operations Branch

Textual Records: Security-classified and formerly security-classified general correspondence, 1942-57, with an index. Messages, 1942-47. Microfilm copy of International Red Cross lists (3 rolls), and cables relating to Americans captured or interned by Germany and Japan, 1943-45.

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389.4.2 Records of the Legal Branch

Textual Records: Correspondence relating to the internment, care, and labor of prisoners of war, 1942-46.

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389.4.3 Records of the Labor and Liaison Branch

Textual Records: Detention lists and correspondence, 1942-46.

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389.4.4 Records of the Special Projects Branch

Textual Records: School training records of German prisoners of war, 1943-46. Special projects file, 1943-46, with an index.

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389.4.5 Records of the Italian Service Units

Textual Records: Correspondence and rosters, 1944-45.

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389.4.6 Records of the Prisoner of War Information Bureau

Textual Records: Policy and subject files concerning supervision of prisoner-of-war camps, 1942-45. General correspondence, 1942- 57. Miscellaneous records, 1941-57.

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389.4.7 Records of the Enemy Prisoner of War Information Bureau

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1942-46. General orders, 1953-57. Enemy prisoner of war/civilian internee general information files, 1952-53; complaint and investigation files, 1951-53; strength reporting files, 1950-53; and roster files, 1951-53. Strength returns on German prisoners of war, 1945-46. Rosters of German and other foreign nationals in U.S. custody during World War II, 1956-57. Rosters of deceased Japanese and Italian prisoners of war, 1952. Records relating to Japanese, German, Italian, and enemy prisoners of war during World War II, 1942-52.

Motion Pictures (1 reel): Ko je-do Prisoners of War, a film of the Korean War prisoner of war camp, 1952.

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389.4.8 Records of the American Prisoner of War Information Branch

Textual Records: Civilian alien internee case files, 1941-45. Prisoner-of-war rosters, 1949-57. General correspondence, 1942- 49. Credit certificates and records relating to impounded and lost property, 1947-55. Card file of Americans interned by Germany and Japan during World War II, 1942-46. Subject files of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 22d U.S. Army Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee Information Center (Fort George G. Meade, MD), 1949-74. Records of the U.S. Army Office of Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Affairs, consisting of documents released by the Task Force 250 POW/MIA Documentation Project, 1991-92.

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389.5 Records of the Military Police Division
1942-65

Textual Records: General correspondence relating to military police and Provost Marshal General schools, 1942-50. Records of the Organization Branch relating to the Corps of Military Police, 1942-48. Decimal correspondence of the Training Branch, 1942-46. Correspondence and reports of the Doctrine and Equipment Branch, 1942-47. Military Police Board correspondence and reports, 1942-54, and project files, 1952-62. Records of Military Police Schools at Camp Williams, Lehi, UT, 1942; Carlisle Barracks, PA, 1947-48; and Fort Gordon, GA, 1963-65. Records of the Military Police School, 1947-48.

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389.6 Records of the Provost Division
1942-54

Textual Records: Records relating to criminal investigations in the army, 1945-51. Statistical reports of criminal investigations, 1944-54. Rosters and other records relating to residents of relocation centers, 1942-46. Repatriation lists, 1942-46. Hesse crown jewels investigative case files, 1944-52. Tokyo Rose investigative files, 1947-49.

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389.7 Records of the Internal Security Division
1937-50

Textual Records: Reports of race riots and strikes, 1942-45. Correspondence relating to auxiliary military police, 1942-45. Correspondence of the Safety Branch, 1942-45. Correspondence of the Fire Prevention Branch, 1942-46. Correspondence of the Confinement Branch, 1947-50. Records of the Coordination Branch, including general correspondence, 1941-46; internal security program correspondence, 1941-46; internal security interagency coordination files, 1942-45; reports of security inspections of commercial firms, 1941-44; and a library collection, 1937-46 (bulk 1941-46).

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389.8 Records of the Correction Division
1920-63

Textual Records: History file, including records of the Correction Division, Adjutant General's Office, 1920-63.

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389.9 Machine Readable Records (General)
1942-46
13 data sets

Converted World War II prisoners of war (POW) punchcards including records of U.S. military POWs returned alive from the European and Pacific Theaters, U.S. civilian POWs interned by the Japanese, deceased U.S. military POWs interned by the Germans and Japanese, U.S. military POWs interned by the Japanese who died in ship sinkings (1944), U.S. military personnel interned in a neutral country, U.S. military personnel missing in action and returned to military control, non-U.S. civilian internees, and unofficial civilian Japanese internees, 1942-46, with supporting documentation.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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