Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Bureau of War Risk Litigation


(Record Group 190)
1924-46
98 cu. ft.

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 190.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 190.2 RECORDS OF THE CENTRAL OFFICE 1924-46 104 lin. ft.
  • 190.3 RECORDS OF FIELD OFFICES 1929-45 8 lin. ft.

190.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: In the Department of Justice, by Departmental Order 2507, December 30, 1933, superseding Departmental Order 2463, September 11, 1933, temporarily appointing Will G. Beardslee as Special Assistant to the Attorney General in charge of war risk insurance litigation.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • Bureau of War Risk Insurance, Department of the Treasury (1914- 20)
    • Veterans Bureau (1921)
    • U.S. Veterans Bureau (1921-30)
    • Veterans Administration (1930-33)

Transfers: To Claims Division, Department of Justice, by Departmental Order 2507, Supplement No. 17, July 1, 1942.

Functions: Defended the United States against civil suits arising from claims against war risk and life insurance contracts authorized by the World War Veterans' Act of 1924, incorporated as Title I of an act of June 7, 1924 (43 Stat. 607), as amended; and the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, incorporated as Title VI of the Second Revenue Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 974), October 8, 1940, as amended.

Abolished: Effective June 30, 1945, by Departmental Order 3732, Supplement No. 9, June 28, 1945.

Successor Agencies: Claims Division, Department of Justice, July 1945-February 1953; Civil Division, Department of Justice, February 1953- .

Finding Aids: Marion M. Johnson, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of War Risk Litigation," NC 46 (Feb. 1964).

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Bureau of War Risk Litigation in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government. Records of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and the Insurance Division, U.S. Veterans Bureau, 1914-34, in RG 15, Records of the Veterans Administration. Claims Division and successor Civil Division records relating to concluded war risk and life insurance litigation involving World War II claimants and remaining World War I claimants under classification number 17 of the central subject files, 1914-89, in RG 60, General Records of the Department of Justice.

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190.2 RECORDS OF THE CENTRAL OFFICE
1924-46
104 lin. ft.

History: Bureau of War Risk Insurance (BWRI) established in the Treasury Department by the War Risk Insurance Act (38 Stat. 711), September 2, 1914, to administer an insurance program for U.S. merchant vessels and their cargoes. By amendments of June 12, 1917 (40 Stat. 102) and October 6, 1917 (40 Stat. 398), insurance program expanded respectively to include officers and crews of U.S. merchant vessels, and all members of the armed services. BWRI abolished by an act of August 9, 1921 (42 Stat. 147), with functions transferred to the Veterans Bureau (VB), established by same act. VB renamed U.S. Veterans Bureau (USVB) by an act of August 24, 1921 (42 Stat. 202). War Risk Insurance Act, as amended, recodified in the World War Veterans' Act of 1924, June 7, 1924, with USVB made responsible for implementing the act. USVB consolidated with Bureau of Pensions and National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to form the Veterans Administration by EO 5398, July 21, 1930, under authority of an act of July 3, 1930 (46 Stat. 1016). Responsibility for litigating veterans' war risk and life insurance claims transferred to Department of Justice (DOJ), September 11, 1933, implementing EO 6166, June 10, 1933, which transferred to DOJ all litigation functions exercised by other Executive branch agencies. SEE 190.1.

Textual Records: File of closed cases retained for their precedential value ("Headquarters Precedent Case File"), 1925-46, with related exhibits. Index to plaintiffs in all closed cases, 1925-46. Index to plaintiffs in selected cases, n.d. Subject index to legal precedents, 1937-41. List of claimants and case numbers, 1933-39. Dockets relating to selected cases ("'Turner' Card Dockets"), 1930-38, and to cases in selected localities, 1932-44. Reference file, 1924-37.

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190.3 RECORDS OF FIELD OFFICES
1929-45
8 lin. ft.

Textual Records: Records of the Washington, DC, office, consisting of letters and monthly reports of the chief attorney, 1932-39, and records concerning the status of cases, 1935-39. Correspondence, 1933-39, and closed case dockets, 1929-44, of the Mississippi office (in Atlanta). Correspondence and other records of the New York office, 1931-45 (in New York).


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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