How to Get a WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. (Official Military Personnel File) Service Record

 

The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. (Official Military Personnel File) is an essential tool for researching Coast Guard veterans who served during WWII. The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. is maintained at the National Archives and it contains records which cannot be found on the internet. In this post we will examine why the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. service record can be useful for your research, what kinds of records you can expect to find in your Coast Guard veteran’s file, and how you can access your veteran’s WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. service file. These WWII Coast Guard military personnel files include original paperwork detailing the WWII Coast Guard veteran’s duties, ships, assignments, ranks, awards, commendations, battle participation, and more. In addition to the military service records contained within the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F., family records and beneficiary documents were also placed in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. as a way to ensure that the WWII Coast Guard veteran and their family would receive benefits to which they were entitled. The wide array of military and family records maintained within the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. make these WWII Coast Guard personnel files absolutely vital for both military and genealogical research. The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F.’s  are stored at the National Archives and are available to the public 62 years after the date that the individual Coast Guard veteran was separated from the service.

Do I need the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. for my research? The ‘WWII O.M.P.F.’  is essentially the official name for the WWII military service records of individual veterans which are stored at the National Archives. I’ve  put together an introductory post on using military records to research your family history here: introduction on family history research using military records. As the lead-researcher at Golden Arrow Military Research I have personally scanned thousands of WWII O.M.P.F.’s which are maintained at the National Archives. In my view, the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. is a must-have for anyone researching a WWII Coast Guard veteran. Whether you are researching specific details about the WWII Coast Guard veteran’s military service-or whether you are simply interested in uncovering details about your family history, you will need to make sure that you obtain the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. of your veteran.

Are WWII Coast Guard military service records available online? You may be able to find some records on the internet pertaining to the military service of individual WWII Coast Guard veterans, however these online records can often be fragmentary and do not always provide the whole picture of the service history or family situation of the WWII Coast Guard veteran. By contrast, the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. almost always provides researchers with an incredible amount of detail on the Coast Guard veteran’s military service and family life. The average WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. is between 50 and 150 pages in length. So, as you can imagine- these military personnel files provide a wealth of documentation on the individual WWII Coast Guard veteran. Let’s take a brief look at some of the unique service records that can be found inside a WWII Navy O.M.P.F. which you cannot find on the internet:

A period photograph of the WWII Coast Guard veteran. Most WWII era Coast Guard O.M.P.F contain a period photograph of the WWII Coast Guard veteran. These are typically in the form of a photo negative maintained in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. and these photo negatives can be transferred to digital images. The photographs found in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. (which are not available on the internet) are one of the most exciting parts of accessing your veteran’s WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. from the National Archives.

 

 

WWII Coast Guard awards, commendations and citations. If the Coast Guard veteran was awarded medals for gallantry during their service the citation detailing exactly what they did to win the award will be included in their file. In this case the Purple Heart was awarded to this WWII Coast Guard veteran who was killed in action during the war.

 

 

The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. service record book. The WWII Coast Guard service record book maintained in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. is probably the most important part of the record for those interested in documenting the WWII Coast Guard veteran’s military participation. It will include a concise look at the WWII Coast Guard veteran’s assignments, duties, ranks, ships and much more.

 

 

 

WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. correspondence. The correspondence maintained inside the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. can provide an invaluable resource for genealogical research. The correspondence records include documents pertaining to the veteran’s family, beneficiary documents and also correspondence between the Navy and the veteran’s family during the war. Records such as letters to- and from- a veteran’s family are simply not available on the internet and can only be found within the WWII Navy O.M.P.F. of your veteran.

 

 

WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. enlistment records.  The enlistment documents found in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. service file are an excellent resource for researching the individual veteran. The WWII O.M.P.F. enlistment paperwork of the individual Coast Guard veteran can provide information about the Coast Guard veteran’s family situation, employment, education, prior military service and more.

 

 

 

WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. beneficiary/dependent records. Beneficiary records maintained in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. can help researchers better understand the family situation of the Coast Guard veteran during and after the war. This can be especially helpful for those interested in using the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. for genealogical research. In this particular case the WWII Coast Guard veterans was required to submit proof that he had a child. This was submitted in the form of the child’s birth certificate.

 

 

WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. disciplinary records. The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. will also contain records showing disciplinary action taken against the Coast Guard veteran while in the service. This can range from anything from a minor infraction to serious criminal charges leveled against the WWII Coast Guard veteran.

 

 

WWII O.M.P.F. Coast Guard medical records. Medical records pertaining to the WWII Coast Guard veteran were also placed inside the official military personnel file. These records document all of the medical treatment, dental work and physical examinations during the military service of the individual WWII Coast Guard veteran. This particular Coast Guard veteran was applying for relief from the service due to the contraction of Pneumonia.

 

Medical records from WWII Coast Guard OMPF

 

WWII O.M.P.F. Coast Guard report of separation. One of the most highly sought after documents in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. service file is the report of separation or discharge. The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. report of separation condenses a great deal of information about the veteran on to one sheet of paper. Included on the separation report you will find things like stations, duties, training, campaign participation, awards, medals and more.

 

 

WWII O.M.P.F Coast guard education records. In some cases WWII Coast Guard veteran’s actually submitted high school and college transcripts with their enlistment or officer candidacy applications. These records are exciting for genealogical research since they give us the opportunity to gain some perspective on the interests and capabilities of our ancestors.

 


WWII O.M.P.F. Coast Guard qualification card. The qualification card from WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F.’s provide a great deal of insight about the WWII Coast Guard’s veteran’s education, occupations and employers in civilian life. If you are interested in finding out more about the jobs that your veteran held in civilian life prior to enlisting the qualification card provides an excellent breakdown of this information.

 

 

WWII Coast Guard parental consent forms. When a minor wished to enlist in the Coast Guard during the WWII era, the parents of the WWII Coast Guard veteran had to grant their permission for the enlistment.  This process generated paperwork which can be useful for researching ones family history.

 

 

How to obtain a WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. The WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F.’s are held at the National Archives and are open to the public 62 years after the date that the WWII Coast Guard veteran was separated (discharged) from the Coast Guard.  The fastest and most convenient way to access your WWII Coast Guard veteran’s O.M.P.F. is to have a reputable research organization digitally scan your Coast Guard veteran’s O.M.P.F. at the National Archives. Golden Arrow Military Research has research specialists on site at the National Archives where they can physically scan the O.M.P.F. of individual Coast Guard veterans, page by page so that you can view the photos, documents, and artifacts in the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. exactly as they appear in their original form. In most cases, when you use a private research company to access your veteran’s Coast Guard O.M.P.F. you can have digital scans of the record on your computer within just days. By contrast, ordering the records directly from the National Archives usually means weeks or even months of waiting for lower quality photocopies to arrive in the mail. If you are interested in accessing the WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. service records of your individual WWII Navy veteran you can order their O.M.P.F. from Golden Arrow Research here: Access a WWII Coast Guard O.M.P.F. 

Or you can send your request right to Golden Arrow by using our request form:

Your name*
Your E-mail:
USCG Veteran's full name:
Veteran's date of birth:
Veteran's serial number:
Approximate dates of service:

 

If you would prefer to access your record directly from the National Archives you can read more about this process on the National Archives website here: NARA website

Author: Geoff

Geoff Gentilini is the lead researcher at Golden Arrow Research. He specializes in the research of military service records from all branches of the U.S. Military. For help obtaining military service records you can fill out a request form here: Research a Military Service Record

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