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How to Find Info on WWII US Army Officer

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by adambhoy, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. adambhoy

    adambhoy Member

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    Hi all--

    It's been a long time since I've posted here.

    Silly question probably, but I am at a loss trying to find vital stats on a particular individual who served in the WWII US Army. He has a common name, and all I have is name and ASN. Problem is... he's an officer.

    If he was an enlisted man I could just go Family Search or Fold 3 and look for him in the WWII Army Enlistment Records database. Then I could just cross-reference the year of birth and residence state given there, look him up on Ancestry and find him.

    Is there a similar database for looking up officers? No idea how to proceed here and I'd like to know, so I can not only find this particular individual but do future searches as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    He might still be in the Enlistment Records, have you checked?
     
  3. adambhoy

    adambhoy Member

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    I did check, yes.

    According to NARA: 'The series does not include records for Army officers" (World War II Electronic Records Reference Report)

    Even if he had been an enlisted man first, and then later was given an officer's commission, there's still no way to link a record from the Enlistment Records database with his Officer's ASN, which is again, all I have. I don't have even his birth year or where he was from, or anything that would give a clue.

    Because his name is so common I seem to have hit a wall.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Sorry I can't help any. Hopefully someone will be along shortly who can help. If you could post his name it might be of use to them.
     
  5. adambhoy

    adambhoy Member

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    I appreciate that, thank you!

    His name is/was 2nd Lt. William F. Cowan. O-1178745. That's the sum total of the info I have on him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  6. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Do you know if he was Army Air Corps or regular Army?
    His officer serial number could (might/would) be different than his original enlistment serial number. With out more to go on, home town, state etc, I'm afraid you've got your work cut out for ya'. If you find more let us know.
    Good luck.
     
  7. adambhoy

    adambhoy Member

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    Hi Biak--

    He was an artillery officer.

    I guess the simple answer is "no, there's no database for officers like there is for enlisted men". Too bad; that thing sure has come in handy! I guess I'll just have to grind it out slowly and hope to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.

    Thanks!
    Adam
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Okay. I'll keep an eye out when I'm going through here or other sites.

    The reason I asked about the number, my Uncle had at least three serial#'s. One at enlistment in the Army, one when he transferred to the Air Corps and yet another one when he went to the newly established US Air Force.
     

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