United States World War II Casualty Records
Casualty generally refers to any soldier lost to active military service due to death, injury, desertion, having been captured, or soldiers that are missing.
Army and Army Air Force
The National Archives has a World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel available through its Archival Research Catalog (ARC). Here, you will view a facsimile of a county-by-county alphabetical list of deceased soldiers, their serial number, rank, and type of death.
The National Archives also has a State Summary of War Casualties for World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel available through its Archival Research Catalog (ARC). Each state list is alphabetical divided by the casualty type, including wounded and recovered. The list also shows next of kin address.
Military Personnel Lost at Sea
Sailors who were killed or wounded in the war are named in the following:
- U.S. Navy Department. Casualty Section, Office of Public Information. Combat Connected Naval Casualties World War II by States. 2 vols. n.p., n.d. (FHL book 973 M23un.) The names are arranged by state according to the address of the next of kin at notification. The entries contain the name of the sailor, rank, name of parents or wife, and address.
- Casualty Lists, Pacific Naval Operations, 1941–1946. Washington, D.C.: NPPSO Naval District Washington Microfilm Section, 1979. (FHL film 485330.) These lists are alphabetically arranged by operation and ship name. They contain service number, rank, service specialty number, and date of death.
Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPFs)
Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPFs) were created for all soldiers, regardless of branch of the military, when they were declared Missing in Action or Killed in Action. Each file is different based on the circumstances of the soldier's death. These files contain serial numbers, final rank and unit in which a soldier served, date and location of death (sometimes with circumstances of death,) sometimes handwritten letters from family, some service information, reports of interment and disinterment, and final burial information.
IDPFs are free files, as of the date of this entry, and take on average six to twelve months to receive. If the file was previously requested and scanned at Ft. Knox, then you may receive it in less time. To request an IDPF you can use the sample letter provided here and fill in as much information as possible.
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
ATTN: AHRC-PAO (Dept. 103)
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
Fort Knox, KY 40122
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby make a request for the IDPF for my below listed family member who died or was killed-in-action while serving in the military during World War II.
Branch of Military:
Military Service Number:
Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Burial site in U.S.A.:
Relationship to deceased:
Please be advised that I will be responsible for any costs incurred for photocopies over the allowed limit of free photocopies.
My contact information is: Add name, address, and email.
Very truly yours,
- Research and Writing Center