National Archives News

Top Ten Veterans and Military Questions on History Hub

By Angela Tudico | National Archives News

refer to caption

Veterans Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, November 11, 1994. National Archives, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Photo by PH2 John Sokolowski.

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2023 — In honor of Veterans Day, which is observed every year on November 11 in the United States, the National Archives is sharing the top 10 types of questions asked about veterans and military records on History Hub.

History Hub is a crowdsourced historical research platform hosted by the National Archives. Anyone can ask and answer questions, or browse to see if their question has already been answered. The platform features a Military Records community and several subcommunities related to veterans and military history: Army and Air Force Records; Military and Civilian Personnel Records; and Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Records.

Read below for the top 10 categories of questions posted across these History Hub communities. A bonus 11th category is included to highlight the significance of the number to Veterans Day, which was originally celebrated as Armistice Day in 1919 to mark the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11. Each category includes representative questions, some of which have been edited for length and clarity. Click on each link to read the full discussion on History Hub. 

  1. Unit Records 
    How do I begin research in Women Army Corps records?
    How can I find out more about my grandfather’s unit in World War II?
    Can you help me find more information on the 126th Machine Gun Battalion during World War I?
  2. Photographs
    How can I get a photograph of my dad in uniform?
    How can I identify which photos to order from World War II Navy files? General Photographic Files, 1943–1968?
    Where can I find a boot camp photo for 1981 Camp Pendleton?
  3. Age
    What is the age of the youngest surviving World War II veteran?
    What were the age requirements to enlist during Vietnam?
  4. After Action Reports and Mission Records
    Are there after action or morning reports regarding Company C of the 182nd Infantry Regiment, Americal Division?
    How can I find World War II after action reports?
    Can you help me find information regarding secret missions over the Pacific in the early 1950s?

  5. Ship Deck Logs
    Do you have records of naval vessels in 2010–2011?
    How can we find more information about Marine troop lander USS LSM-5 in the Pacific during World War II?
    Was the USS Kennebec in Da Nang in 1967 and 1968?

  6. DD Form 214
    How can I obtain a copy of my DD214?
    How can I tell if someone was in Vietnam from their DD214?
    Can someone explain the acronyms listed on my father's DD214?

  7. Medical and Casualty Records
    How can I locate my Walter Reed Hospital medical records?
    How can I gather information on 29 fallen Vietnam Veterans?
    How can I search medical records of a former soldier in 1865?

  8. Rank and Classification
    What did a Tech 4 do in the U.S. Army in 1943?
    Can I get help identifying the uniform worn by these women in World War II?
    How can I find information about my maternal grandfather’s rank during World War II?

  9. Veteran's Service History
    Did Raymond Ralph Hereford receive a draft notice for World War II?
    How can I find additional information about my father's OSS and military records?
    Can you help me find the Navy dates of service for my father during the Korean War?

  10. How do I Locate a Veteran?
    Can you help me research my father? He was a US Naval Officer in the 1940s but I never learned his name.
    How can I find a friend I served with during Vietnam aboard the USS Hancock?
    How might I locate a Vietnam War veteran from Detroit?

    Special commendation goes to our final bonus category

  11. Awards and Decorations
    How do I look up award ribbons, specifically the Bronze Star?
    Where can I find a list of Bronze Star recipients from the Vietnam War?
    Is there a file for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross to a soldier?


Digital Community Manager Darren Cole contributed to this report.