My father was a veteran of the 87th. How can I find out more about his experiences?
First and foremost, join the Association! We publish a fine quarterly newsletter, The Golden Acorn News, which alone is worth far more than the modest yearly dues. You may also request a roster of members from your father’s unit. Using this roster, you may be able to locate some of your dad’s old buddies.
How do I get my medals, or those of a family member?
From the National Personnel Records Center web site:
“… veterans may request issuance or replacement of their medals and awards. Family members may only request medals and awards of living veterans by obtaining their signed authorizations. For deceased veterans, requests will be accepted from next-of-kin (unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran).”
Details can be found here.
I know my grandfather was in the 87th, but I'm not sure what unit. How can I find out?
- Be aware that there was also an 87th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 10th Mountain Division. So first you must confirm that he was in the 87th Infantry Division.
- One of the best places to look for this information in on the military discharge. Please note, however, that even if your grandfather did serve in the 87th, this may not be detailed on his discharge, as he may have served in other outfits as well.
- Submit a Standard Form 180 to the National Personnel requesting your grandfather’s service records. Unfortunately, there was a fire in 1973 which destroyed about 80% of the Army’s records for the time period between 1912 and 1960. You may, however, be in that lucky 20%, so it’s worth a try.
- This information can often be found on medical records. Request a copy of your grandfather’s Service Medical Records (SMR) your Regional Veteran’s Administration office.
What is the National Personnel Records Center?
The NPRC is a division of the National Archives. They serve as the repository of government personnel-related records, both military and civil service. Here are some relevent links: