NAMES & UNIT INFORMATION:
1) You can obtain morning rosters of the unit you were in by contacting the National Personnel Records Center. You must fill out a Standard Form 180 that can be downloaded from http://www.nara.gov/regional/mpr.html, browse the site for forms and instructions.
They will ask for a copy of your DD-214 Form Discharge Certificate along with the request.
If you dont know the unit you were in, send for your DD-214 Discharge Form. As long as youre asking for info, you may as well request your 201 Personnel File that will have all the places you were, and request your medical records. Every GI should have a copy of these on hand anyway, for reference. Send the request to the St. Louis address listed.
Morning rosters will have most of the names of the men you worked with, ask for the dates six months before and after you were in service. There will be a fee for the rosters. They are copied from micro film. There should NOT be a fee for any personal records. They may suggest that you have local college students do the search for rosters due to the fact it does take a lot of time and they want to use that time for mostly personal searches. Tell them you wish to pay the fee, its about $8.50 to start, and about $12-$15 per hour for morning rosters.
There is also info at the site mentioned for sending "Blind" letters to buddies you wish to contact. The Veterans Administration also allows "Blind" letters, you can call your local VA and ask for three names at a time to see if your buddy is listed anywhere in the states.
Each mans name on the roster will have a service number or social security number listed after the name, in addition to rank, Military Occupation Specialty code ( MOS ), secondary MOS ( job they may have been doing although they had a different mos ), and the dates ETS: for discharge, Eligible to Return: from overseas unless they extended, and SPED: date they were inducted or enlisted. There is also a race column: 1 = Caucasian, 2 = African American, 3-5 not in order American Indian, Hispanic, Puerto-Rican, 6 = Mexican.
Military MOS Numbers List:
this will help you narrow your search.
2) http://www.militaryusa.com is a site that has a Vietnam data base you can use to confirm your buddies name, match MOSs, rank, search for a middle initial, and has service men were in.
INTERNET PHONE BOOKS:
1) Yahoo People Search: Fill in the boxes and go try e-mails first, then phone numbers. If using a middle initial and no-results, try it w/o, then variations of the first or last name. As in all searching on the Internet, start with full names, then no middle initial, then Ed after Edward, then E for the first name. Write down or print out the e-mail numbers, Send "Blind" e-mails to all those who look like matches, look for middle initials in the addresses. Then search phone numbers and cold-call the phone numbers that look close.
Watch for relatives in both modes, in areas you feel are correct.
2) AnyWho is another phone search directory, but has various "Reverse" search modes. It also has area code search and exchange search if you have a phone number and you want to know where its from. Youll find both directories faster in early morning or late evening.
INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE:
Another source of searching can be found at http://www.alltheweb.com Use "Exact Phrase" mode at first, then "All-the words" mode. There are many other web search engines out there, but Ive found this the best. Again, start with all the info typed in the search box, and then shorten it: John D. Doe Jr. , John D. Doe, John Doe, J. D. Doe, J. Doe. Search anything you want in this way!
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS:
The first three numbers indicate the ONE state the Vet was inducted or enlisted from. An up-dated list and explanation of these can be found and downloaded at the web site http://ssa.gov/employer_info/statessn.html
Morning Rosters will come from the National Personnel
Records Center with service numbers in view, however the social security numbers will be
written over w/black magic marker.
Enlisted National Guard (Service) Numbers 20,000,000-20,999,999: 1940-1946
Numbers starting 21 thru 29: 1946-1969
These are a bit tougher, as they lead you to 3 to 12 states the Vets were from. The following list shows RA (Regular Army 3-Year vets) and US (2-Year Inductees)
Numbers starting with NG = National Guard ER = Enlisted Reserve. These are not found too often, but I do have the info upon request. I have not made a list to send via e-mail.
Officers are usually not listed on morning rosters, and are the hardest to find. I find most via orders men send in. Officers are more prone to NOT be in the states born in, enlisted and inducted men who have more of the blue-collar type jobs, Ive found IN or near their original states.
AMERICAN WAR LIBRARY on the Internet: Ive tried the service, couldnt ever get in via phone modem, I now feel it is not worth the money.
PRO-CD PHONE BOOKS: At the cost of about $130.00 per year with limited print-outs, the store-bought computer program is useful in the fact that it gives you the closest 100 matches to what you enter into the search. In addition, you can look up the neighbor next door with a click, use map search, and do reverse address searches that Ive found very handy. Included is a business search, and street atlas. Ive found Vets by calling the people next door!
COPIES OF ORDERS: Ask your association members to look for orders they brought back from overseas, some have. They list up to, and sometimes over, 100 vets.
ASK FOR HELP: Other than having a web site that can be surfed to, searching can be very time consuming. Cold-calling on weekends and off-business hours can easily run in excess of $100.00 per month.
COLD-CALLING: Prepare a
short introduction to introduce yourself
with all the tele-marketers calling
these days, youll soon notice a bit of an attitude from some. However, if you can
get all the important info into your first or second sentence, you wont get a
hang-up. KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid!..
About 99.9% of the vets I find are happy to be found we are in fact, a unique brotherhood.
Make a phone data sheet, keep it near the phone. Fill it out as you speak to the newly found member. Get all contact info, ask for names of others, old orders, etc. I always ask for nick-names used, and a name of a close buddy I could find for them.
BOOKS: The best book
Ive found about searching for military veterans is available through Amazon.com for
GOOD LUCK SEARCHING!