United States, Records of World War II Prisoners of War - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States, World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1945
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.

United States
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Record Description
Record Type Prisoners of War
Record Group RG 389: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, 1941-
Collection years 1941-1945
National Archives Identifier 583428
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection contains a name index of American soldiers who were prisoners of war during World War II acquired from the National Archives, "Access to Archival Databases" (AAD). The records are from the Office of the Provost Marshal General, Record Group 389.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

  • Date of report
  • Full name of soldier
  • Grade
  • State of residence
  • Parent unit number
  • Type of organization
  • Latest report day
  • Status
  • Name of camp
  • Name of transport ship

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample of indexed information:

John W Smith United States, World War II Prisoners of War
Name John W Smith
Event Type Military Service
Event Date 1943
Event Place Germany
Residence State Louisiana
Race White
Race (Original) 1
Military Service Ac: Air Corps
Military Status Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
Military Service Branch Army
Parent Military Unit Group/Regiment/Commands/System
Subordinate Military Unit Heavy Bomber (B17, B24)
Military Rank Captain or Lieutenant
Destination Place Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12
Service Number O2043710

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search you will need to know:

  • The full name of the soldier
  • The age of the soldier
  • The birth date of the soldier
  • The death date of the soldier

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or burial records
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date
  • Prisoners who enlisted in the United States military may have service records or pensions from the United States
  • Compile a list of other prisoners with the same surname. If the surname is uncommon, they may be relatives
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]

Related FamilySearch historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]

Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.