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Thread: American Casualty Files

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    Default American Casualty Files

    Can anyone tell me if it is possible to access the casualty files of USAAF dead. One casualty I am looking at is 37307545 S/S Walter Nies. I have all the details of his missions, crew and details of his being shot down and taken prisoner. I have an eye-witness account of him being shot and his burial outside Stalag Luft VI at Matzicken near Heydekrug. What I am looking for are files from the American Graves Registration Command or his service file containing records after 1945. I believe that there were a series of photographs taken at his funeral. His body was not recovered after the war.

    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

    ATB

    Mike

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    Default Re: American Casualty Files

    Mike,

    You'd be looking for the Individual Deceased Personnel File of 37307545 S/Sgt Nies. These used to be held at Maxwell AFB. You could apply under the Freedom of Information Act (no, I'm not American either) where it will take 12-14 months. They have now moved shop to Ft Knox KY. I have a couple of them. On average 200 plus pages. I was looking at an American rear gunner, who was the sole non RAF man aboard, so besides the American stuff I was provided with the MRES documents as well.

    NARA: You'll need to access the Graves Registration Units of the US Quartermaster Corps. I don't recall the RG number off the top of my head.

    Finally, have a look at the Missing Air Crew Report for his aircraft, B-17F # 42-5411 https://catalog.archives.gov/id/90914658

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: American Casualty Files

    Thanks to both

    I shall have a go at Fort Knox - sounds like a tough job!

    Stalag Luft VI was only operational for a year. Apart from Nies, two other Americans died - 35586760 T/Sgt William F Teaff who died of natural causes and 34147240 S/Sgt George B Walker who died in a particularly ill-advised escape attempt. Neither body was recovered so I shall try for their files as well. The only other Allied airman to die at the camp was the Canadian F/Sgt Kieth Oliver Perry who died of natural causes - I have his file from Ottawa. Two Brits were famously murdered away from the camp.

    In the adjacent camp for Russian prisoners the inmates were dying at a rate of more than one per day. At one point in the winter of 1942 the death rate hit 40 per day. Russia was not a signatory of the Geneva Convention so visitors from the Protecting Power could only note what they saw when visiting The British and American compounds.

    The bodies of the Russians and other nationalities including Poles, French and Belgians were buried in an area part of which has now been enclosed and protected. Memorials have been erected to the three Americans and the Canadian although they were interred outside the area of mass burials.

    Mike

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    Default Re: American Casualty Files

    About 2 years back I needed an IDPF for a USAAF chap who was killed serving with 630 Squadron RAF and used this chap to get it
    https://www.goldenarrowresearch.com/about/
    It took about 2-3 months and is a CHUNK of material
    cheers
    PeteS
    https://630squadron.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: American Casualty Files

    Hi Pete

    I have applied to Fort Knox already. I found this very useful pdf which coincidentally also has links to Goldenarrow.

    https://www.libraryvisit.org/wp-cont...is-an-IDPF.pdf

    If I get no joy I will try Golden Arrow.

    ATB

    Mike

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