World War I United States Military Records, 1917 to 1918

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In May 2011, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) completed construction of its new facility in St. Louis, Mo.



Mexican Border Service, 1916-1917

FamilySearch Catalog

Introduction - World War I

The United States entered World War I in April 1917. Over 4.7 million men and women served in the regular U.S. forces, national guard units, and draft units with about 2.8 million serving overseas. There were 53,402 killed in action, 63,114 deaths from disease and other causes, and about 205,000 wounded.


Battlefield Guides

Records and Research

Training Camps

Embarkation Service

American Expeditionary Forces. May 26,1917-August 31,1920

Services of Supply

American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia. August 1918-April 1920

Army Air Service

Lafayette Escadrille - American Pilots in the French Air Service

Tank Corps


Marine Corps



American Field Service

Medical Department

National Archives Collections - Records of the Surgeon General (Army), Record Group 112

Related Government Agencies

U.S. Food Administration

Illinois Food Administration

Missouri Food Administration

Auxiliary Organizations

American Red Cross

National Archives

Hoover Institute Archives Stanford University

Overseas Service

State and Local Sources

Timeline American Expeditionary Forces

Date Event
3 February 1917 Diplomatic relations with Germany were severed
6 April 1917 Congress declares war on Germany
18 May 1917 Congress passes the Selective Service Act which allows for the registration of eligable men for military service
5 June 1917 The first registration included men between 21 and 31 years of age
20 July 1917 The lottery is held in Washington to determine the order of liability for military service is held. No. 258 was the first number drawn.
20 Nov-4 Dec 1917 Cambrai (American Troops engaged 2,500)
21 Mar- 6 Apr, 1918 Somme (American Troops engaged 2,200)
9- 27 April, 1918 Lys (American Troops engaged 500)
27 May - 5 June, 1918 Aisne, Third Battle of(American Troops engaged 27,500)
5 June 1918 The second registration included men who had become 21 since the first registration
9-15 June, 1918 Noyon-Montdidier (American Troops engaged 27,000)
15-18 July 1918 Champagne-Marne (American Troops engaged 85,000)
12 Sept 1918 The third registration included the ages 18 to 45. 13,228,762 registered.
25 Jun 1918 U.S. troops took over Belleau Wood, France after two weeks of fighting.7870 Americans lost their lives in the battle.
18 Jul 1918- 6 Aug 1918 Aisne-Marne offensive or the 2nd battle of the Marne marked the turning point of the War.  The German line was driven back to Vesle.
8 Aug - 11 Nov 1918 Somme (American Troops engaged 54,000)
18 Aug- 11 Nov 1918 Oise-Aisne (American Troops engaged 85,000)
19 Aug- 11 Nov 1918 Ypres-Lys (American Troops engaged 108,000)
12 - 16 September 1918 St. Mihiel (American Troops engaged 550,000)
26 Sept 1918 - 11 Nov 1918 The Meuse-Argonne Offensive involving over one million U.S. troops
24 Oct- 4 Nov 1918 Vittorio-Veneto (Italian Front, American Troops engaged 1,200)
31 Oct 1918 The 2nd million U.S. soldier reached France.
11 Nov 1918 The Armistice. World War I ends with the surrender of Germany

FamilySearch World War I Historical Record Collections

Family History Library Selected World War I Collections

Archives and Libraries

National WW I Museum and Memorial

U.S. Army Heritage and Education center

National Archives at St. Louis

Library of Congress

National Archives


National Park Service

World War I Societies

American Legion


American Casualties

American Battle Monuments Commission

World War I Cemeteries

World War I Monuments

World War I Dead, American Expeditionary Forces. 1917-1919


National Archives: Compiled Data on Casualties of the American Expeditionary Forces by State of United States Possession, 1917-1919 NAID 1726747

Additional Sources

United States World War One Centennial

State Committees or Commissions

Selected Sites

Unit Histories

  • Below are selected divisional and regimental histories from the FamilySearch catalog.

Army Corps

Division Unit Histories

Military Unit Histories

United States World War I Unit Histories will have additional unit history references and links.

Personal Narratives

World War I State Online Collections and Descriptions

Gold Star Mothers

Bureau of War Rick Insurance. Department of the Treasury. Administrative History Note9.2.1914-8.9.1921

Armistice Day

State World War I Records

World War I State and Local Histories

US Military Discharges Coverage Map

Alien Registration Files

Additional State Related Collections

Similar collections are described in the military sections for the various states under STATE NAME - MILITARY RECORDS.



  • Women and War
  • Women in World War One
  • Women and the US Navy, WWI Era
  • Female Yeoman
  • Samantha Phil-Gill. The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917-1921.(2017)
  • Carrie Brown. Rosie's Mon: Forgotten Workers of the First World World War. Northeastern University Press, 2013.
  • Lettie Gavin. American Women in World War I: They Also Served. University of Colorado Press, 2006
  • Gilbert Stone. ed. Women Workers of World War I. (2007)
  • Susan Zeiger.In Uncle Sam's Service. Women Workers with the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1919. University of Pennsylvania, Press, 2004

Related Websites and Resources

Related FamilySearch Blog Articles

Sources for Further Reading

  • Schaefer, Christina K. The Great War. A Guide to The Service Records of All The World’s Fighting Men and Volunteers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1998. (Family History Library 940.41 Sch13g.) The United States is covered on pages 123 to 156.
  • Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources.
  • McMahon, M. M. Researching Your U.S. WWI Army Ancestors. Crownsville: CreateSpace, 2017.
  • Gutierrez, Edward A. Doughboys on the Great War. How American Soldiers Viewed Their Military Experiences. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2014.
  • Venzon, Anne C. The United States in the First World World War:An Encyclopedia.Garland Publishing Co., 1996
  • Coffman,Edward. The War to End All Wars. The American Experience in World War I. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998
  • Freidel, Frank. Over There. The Story of American’s First Great Overseas Crusade. rev. ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Cp., 1990
  • Carroll, Andrew My Fellow Soldiers. General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. New York: Penguin Press, 2017.
  • Haythornthwaite, Philip J. The World War One Source Book. London, England: Arms and Armour, 1992. FHL 973 M2hay
  • Woodward, David R. American and World War I: a selected annotated bibliography of English language sources. New York: Garland Pub Co., 1985. FHL 973 M23b v. 6
  • Randle,Gray with Christopher Argle. Chronicle of the First World War. 2 vols. New York, New York: Facts on File, 1990. FHL 973 M2gra

Prologue Quarterly Publication of the National Archives

NGS Magazine (National Genealogical Society)

  • Tina Beaird. Recreating a World War I Veteran's Service History. 42 #2 (April-June 2017):11-15.
  • Craig Robert Scott. Tracing the Movements of US Army Units in World War I. 42 #2 (April-June 2017):17-22.
  • David R. Hardin. Official Military Personnel Files of World War I Veterans. 42 #2 (April-June 2017):23-27.
  • Kathy Petlewski. World War I and the Hyphenated Americans on the Homefront. 42 #2 (April-June 2017):29-34.
  • Claire Prechtel Kluskens.Interment of Enemy Aliens During World War I. 42 #2 (April-June 2017):35-39.
  • Julie Miller. Enemy Alien Registrations during World War I. 44 #2 (April-June 2018):21-28.
  • John W. Graham.Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the 1930s. 44 #2 (April-June 2018):35-39.
  • Susan Goss Johnson.World War I Statement of Service Cards. 43 #3 (July-September 2017):42-45.
  • Jonathan R. Casey and Stacie Peterson. The National World War I Museum and Memorial's Edward Jones Research Center. 43 #3 (July-September 2017):46-48.
  • Theresa Fitzgerald. Auxiliary Records of World War I Veterans. NGS Magazine 43 #4 (October-December 2017):50-55.
  • John P. Deeden. Military Service in the 'War to End all War.' NGS Magazine 37 #2 (April-June 2011): 26-32.