Trying to discover an Army ancestor’s military history can be frustrating to say the least. I have many relatives who served in the Army in WWI and WWII. Due to the fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in 1973, many of those records were destroyed.
I was trying to hunt down information about the service of Frank Winkler to match a family story that he served on Omaha Beach on D-Day (see blog entry about Frank). Unfortunately the NPRC did not have his records. I discovered after my parents went to Europe in the fall (see blog entry on that), there is a record called the IDPF (Individual Deceased Personnel Record) for WWII casualties. I was able to obtain this record for Frank. It had many documents about his burial in France, his disinterment, records about sending his remains home and a handwritten letter by his father to the Army. No service record.
Working with historian Joe Balkoski with the 29th Infantry, I was able to obtain two months worth of morning reports for the 29th Infantry, 115th division Co. G., which Frank was part of. The records showed he was put into the 29th as a replacement on June 23, 1944 and was killed the next day by a sniper. We are assuming at this point he entered France after D-Day and was held in a group of replacement soldiers until needed. Where he was before that is still a mystery.
Frank was buried in France in 1944 and his remains were returned to the family in 1948. He was then laid to rest in Bohemian National Cemetery where his parents were later buried. Frank’s story is being told so he will remembered and honored for the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
This entry was posted on Monday, March 29, 2010 at Monday, March 29, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .