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NPRC & Research Requests: A Tale

Hannibal Rex

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Late this spring, I sent in the "special form" for research at the NPRC in St Louis. I'd requested info on the same WW2 USAAF guy several years before.

Have things really gotten better, or was I just sickly lucky?

The first request was made in late 2001. I did not get a reply on that one until 2/24/2003. The reply was the standard NA Form 13164 that pretty much everyone gets via FOIA. I'd only sent a simple FOIA based request, not a form of any type.

That Form 13164 listed his date of service (as an officer only), a couple of units (his bomb group and one training group stateside), his bombardier's course training location, his decorations and awards (with no GO listings or the like), his place of entry & seperation, place of birth & date of death. That's it.

Enter early April of 2007. I decided to try the official form this time.

Instead of the "it will get here once I'm dead" wait time that the last one took, this one arrived on 5/3/2007. And boy was it a change in content from the first.

The standard NA Form 13164 was there, but with more info. It listed his enlisted SN & period of enlistment, but ironically did not list some of the previous info. But this was not a bad thing, as there were more documents!

Along with the Form 13164, I recieved: three pages of lists of his USAAF schools, TWO WD AGO Form 0707s (for two purple hearts that he was not even known to have from the two NA forms!), a WD AGO Form 079 (the entire citation for his DFC!) & the four WD AGO Form 079s for his four Air Medals, all with full citations!

Meh! Had I known...

Anyone else noticed a difference of that nature with the official forms versus just making a written FOIA request?

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