HELPFUL INFO

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR RECORDS & RESEARCH

Researched and written

By Bruce Holzhauer

Copyright 2000 to 2014

 

 

MEDICAL RECORDS

Your military medical records are sent to the Veterans Administration after your discharge. Contact your current state’s  VA office to obtain copies.   Your medical records from the Army tour could also be at your VA’s state that was your “Home of Record” – that is where you lived when you went into the Army or changed to Home of Record at any time.

 

 

FINDING AIDS FOR UNIT & PERSONAL RECORDS

Sarge’s list of Official Records kept by U.S. Government agencies and how to obtain them.

 

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The NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER (NPRC) St. Louis
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(A) Serviceman’s PERSONAL RECORDS
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Commonly referred to as “YOUR 201 FILE your 201 File.” the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Lois, MO keeps your personal “OFFICIAL MILITARY PERSONNEL FILE”…. this is the complete packet of your records. i.e. every record of your service, copies of awards and commendations, and tests you took from basic through discharge.
An SF 180* will be needed to obtain your packet (see SF 180 below).

DD-214 is that single page of paper that you got upon your discharge, and the document that you are constantly being asked for as “proof” of your military service – it is also held in St. Louis and a form SF 180 is needed. Although, a new ON-LINE REQUEST can be made using;

http://vetrecs.archives.gov

(B) Unit PERSONNEL RECORDS
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(Monthly) COMPANY ROSTERs and (Daily) MORNING REPORTs for your unit are also kept in St. Louis. They were prepared by the Company Clerks of each Co. in the battalion. It is my suggestion that you request a Company Roster for only one or two months at a time – and be sure to ask for YOUR COMPANY. Only ask for two or three days at a time for Morning Reports….. they don’t like it when you ask for to much at a time! [Daily Battalion Journals are kept at the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), Suitland, MD[see below].
SF 180* will be needed to obtain Company Rosters and Company Morning Reports.

*SF 180 is Standard Form 180.
You MUST fill out this form to get ANY action from St. Louis. These forms are available at any local Veterans Organization (VVA, VFW, DAV etc.), your local Veterans Representative (city or county), “on line” via the NARA, VA, or you can write St. Louis and request one. I’ve even found a SF180 in the blue binder “Facts on File” in the reference section at the library. All I can tell ya is YOU NEED ONE for each request!

Write to:
National Personnel Records Center
Attn: U.S. Army Liaison
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132

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MEDALS not issued or lost.
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You can also get your medals from St. Louis. I wrote them and told them I lost mine and they sent me new medals…. even engraved them on the back with my name and rank. [Something that the original medals issued in Vietnam didn’t have.] You should at least request you be sent “Any Medals not issued.” As I recall you don’t need a Form 180 for this one; put your request in the form of a letter and sign it with your signature. Attach a copy of your DD 214. Be sure to include your full name and service number in the body of the letter.

Write to:
Chief, Awards Branch
Entitlements Division
Department of The Army
ARPERCEN
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5200

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION (NARA) Washington D.C.
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UNIT RECORDS
Has unit operational information like the daily BATTALION JOURNAL (S-3 Journal,Duty Officers Log, etc.), and OPERATION REPORT, LESSONS LEARNED (ORLL), and other goodies. All these records (and there are 9,000 cubic feet of them) are filed under
RECORDS GROUP 472
Records of the United States Forces in Southeast Asia, 1950-1975
held by the MODERN MILITARY RECORDS UNIT at College Park, MD.
But what do YOU care! You wanna know what you wanna know…. RIGHT!?
JUST WRITE THEM!! And wait….. and wait….. and wait….! Thanks to the Internet EVERYBODY is asking for stuff from these poor, OVERWORKED Civil Servants!
Write them. Don’t ask for too much at a time. Be specific as to what you want. List the unit (2/12 Infantry, 25th Infantry Division) , date of action, grid co-ordinates (if known) etc.

(NOTE: This Natl. Archives address will send you records for ANY ARMY UNIT IN VIETNAM. Request by YOUR unit….. mine(ours) was the 2/12th Infantry so I use it on this website.)

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WRITE THEM and make your request for information a FOIA request! This WILL speed things up! FOIA stands for the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT and because FOIA is the law of the land, it MUST be adhered to by the NARA within a time limit. START ALL YOUR REQUESTS (LETTERS) LIKE THIS:

Dear Sir,
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, I hereby request the following information [Records Group 472.7.6] about the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division (2/12 Inf.,25th Div.)

[…. and then describe what you want. See list below for what is available from the National Archives files….. and end your letter like this;]

I am willing to pay all reasonable costs involved in copying this information.
Thanks in advance for your prompt response to this request!
(Your Signature)

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR RETURN ADDRESS and don’t get freaked out by that “all reasonable costs” bit – it’s just a buzz phrase they seem to like. I’ve gotten all kinds of records and never paid a dime. BUT, things are changing. There is a movement to “privatize” services for the NARA and the only way to get info is through these private (for profit) companies. Photographs are handled this way now…. and it sucks!
“Records Group 472.7.6” contains tactical records for units like ours in Vietnam.

Write to:
National Archives
Attn: Textual Reference (Vietnam)
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Military Records Textural Reference Phone #
(301)837-3510

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WHAT TO REQUEST FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES:
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O.K. so now WHAT DO I REQUEST from the National Archives, Records Group 472.7.6, in College Park?

Here’s the list; (starting with the most informative info for us common grunt types.)

(A) BATTALION JOURNAL (BATTALION DUTY OFFICERS LOG)
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This is the minute by minute JOURNAL of what happened that day. The Log was kept at the 2/12th’s Tactical Operations Center and were written as things were happening (so it misses some things) and is the best guide to find out what happened that day. It lists a lot of interesting things; Company locations, actions, enemy & friendly casualties, etc. It was used as the basis for other reports. Ask for the “2/12th INF Duty Officers Log (Daily Journal)” for the specific day you are interested in.

Recently I received the “S-3 Journal” for the same days as a “Duty Officers Log / Journal.” I found the S-3 Journal had all the information as the BN Off. Log – and a lot more detail. I recommend YOU REQUEST THE ‘S-3 JOUNAL for the date you are interested in.

(B) BATTALION OPERATIONAL REPORTS (ORLL)
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[Operational Report and Lessons Learned]
This is a summary of actions during a time period. Operation Reports were written on a quarterly basis and kind of dry – but they DO describe the battalions activities. Ask for the “2/12th INF Battalion Operational Report” for the day you are interested in. [They probably wont send you the entire reporting periods Operational Report because it’s too long.]

(C) COMBAT AFTER ACTION REPORTS
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Written by the 18th MILITARY HISTORY DETACHMENT, 25th DIVISION [or the History unit attached to YOUR division]. These are great – IF
the action was significant enough to have a member of the Detachment come out to the field and wrote it up. [These should not be confused with ORLLs (Operational Reports/Lessons Learned) – which are a way different animal!] Ask for the “After Action Report by the 18th Military History Detachment (25th Div)” for the specific date and describe the action.

(D) BRIGADE DUTY OFFICERS LOG & BRIGADE OPERATIONAL REPORTS

(E) ANNUAL HISTORICAL SUPPLEMENT
This gives some of the highlights for the year for a particular unit and covers the period 1 January to 31 December. It appears to be the (very selective) highlights taken from the Quarterly Reports and ORLL’s – the year in review on 9 or 10 pages.
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These records are in Records Group 472.7.3 and give a more over=all picture of what was happening at the next (or) “parent” level. Ask for them by date. BUT WHICH BRIGADE was the 2/12th INF in??? Good question! It varied over the years. Sometimes the 2/12th wasn’t assigned to any Brigade in the Division – it was OPCON to another division, or the Corps, or the II Field Force. Confused? So am I! But here is my best shot at putting the 2/12th to a parent unit by time period…. and you can’t take this to the bank! Use as a guide only.
1966 to August 1967….3rd Brigade, 4th Inf. Div.
Aug 67 to Sometime in mid 68…. 3rd Brigade, 25th Div
[OPCON to 1st Inf. Div. at An Loc]
TET 68 ….3d Bde, 25th (and at Hoc Mon Opcon to Capitol Military Assistance Command).
mid 68 to FEB 70…. 2nd Brigade, 25th Div.
FEB 70 to Cambodia…. [your guess is as good as mine. I think we were in the 3rd Brigade, but could have been OPCON to II FFV (Second Field Force, Vietnam)]. OR 1st Brigade, 25th Inf…….. I give up!!!
{I’m pretty shur we wuz 1st Bde Cambodia and until we went to the 2nd at Xuan Loc. – b.h.] Post Cambodia [FSB Warrior & Katum] 1st BDE??
Xuan Loc to Mar 71….. 2nd BDE (Separate), 25th DIV. OPCON to IIFFV. [OK, so it’s confusing, but I SAID it wasn’t something you can take to the bank!!]

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WHAT YOU REALLY WANT FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES IS THE “BATTALION DUTY OFFICERS LOG / DAILY JOURNAL” for the day(s) you are interested in – they have the best details for any given day!
Once again, the address is National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001

NATIONAL ARCHIVES WEBSITE: http//www.nara.gov

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2/12th Infantry
LESSONS LEARNED AND OPERATION REPORTS DOCUMENT #s AND TITLES: see list on my (Sarge’s Bibliography) page. Click on:

http://12thinfantry2ndbattalion.com

this is my new 2-12th infantry Vietnam website I have been working on

from 2001 to today.
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The U.S. ARMED SERVICES CENTER FOR UNIT RECORDS RESEARCH (CURR)
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CURR has information on CASUALTIES (and is used by the VA to verify claims).
I wrote them asking about the day I was wounded and they sent me a photocopy of my admittance sheet to the 12th EVAC [Form 130] – pretty amazing!

Write them and give the date(s) you are interested in and they’ll ship you back a packet of info. Remember to put your letter in the form of a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA).

Write to:
U.S. Armed Services Center for Unit Records Research (CURR)
Suite 101
7798 Cissna Road
Springfield, VA 22150–3197

Sarge’s note: Supposedly, the VA contacts the CURR to verify your Vietnam service and gain information of “Stressors” for PTSD claims…. so maybe it would be a good idea to contact the folks at CURR for your file. No sense in the VA knowing more than you do.
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FINDING A BUDDY
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The U.S. Army’s Public Information Office offers this website with some options for you.
Click On:
http://www.army.mil

Another great place to “Post” a search request for a buddy is:
http://grunt.space.swri.edu/lostfnd.htm

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GOOD LUCK ON YOUR RESEARCH!

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COLD WAR RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE
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All members of the armed forces who served from Sept. 2, 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991 are entitled to this.
You must submit proof of service like a copy of your DD214 [Discharge Certificate]. Or, any government document with your social security / service number and date…. like a copy of an old order or award. [If you lost your DD214;You can obtain a MILITARY ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE from St. Louis (see address above) or you should have a DD214 certified copy on file at the County Courthouse of the home town you returned to after Nam.]

Write a letter like this;

COLD WAR RECOGNITION
Suite 400
4035 Ridge Top Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Please send me a Cold War Recognition Certificate for my service to the United States government during the authorized period of September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991.

Enclosed is a source document which verifies my service during the Cold War Era. I understand that the enclosed source document will not be returned.

Please mail my Cold War Recognition Certificate to the following address:

Joe Blow
555 Main Street
Pleasantville, State 00000

Submission of this request confirms my faithful service to the nation during the Cold War Era. My service in the Armed Forces was honorable.

Sincerely,
(s) Joe Blow

Sarge’s note: “… source document” is a copy of your DD 214.

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GENERAL WALKER PHOTO
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A nice 8X10″ B&W glossy photo of the troop ship the 2/12th took to Viet-Nam during the battalion’s 1966 deployment – the USS Gen. N.M. Walker (AP-125) – can be purchased for $12.50 from:
Atlantic Fleet Sales Company
P.O. Box 6202
Norfolk, VA 23508
Email: afs@worldnet.att.net
WEBSITE: http://www.atlanticfleetsales.com

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MAPS
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High quality B & W maps of Vietnam can be obtained from the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. They are the same topographical maps we used over there. Unfortunately, color copies are no longer available to order. These are B&W photocopies – they are good though.

Write and REQUEST SERIES L-7014 MAP INDEX (VIETNAM) and they will send you the Map Index for Vietnam and an order form – it’s free. Each map you order (as of today) will

cost $4.90 + 3.50 shipping. $8.40 total each.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
GEOGRAPHY & MAP DIVISION
WASHINGTON, DC 20540

Shortcut the process by finding the map you want on my list below and request the map you want by the

STOCK # and MAP NAME
send your request plus $8.40 for each map ordered to:

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
PHOTO DUPLICATION SERVICE
101 INDEPENDENCE AVENUE, S.E.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20540-4570

Make checks payable to The Library of Congress [send no cash] and make sure you have YOUR ADDRESS on the letter requesting the map(s).

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PICTOMAPS

What we used to call satellite maps, pictomaps are high resolution color photographic views that let you see individual hootches, hedgerows, etc. – think gooogle earth.

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6231 III NW
This map covers from the lower lower BEN CU rubber plantation south to (extreme western part) BOI LOI, and west to the TANH DUC–TRUONG MIT axis. Includes; FSB WOOD AO, Hwy LTL-19 from Phuoc Thanh to its meeting the Saigon River. Hwy LTL-26 from (western) Boi Loi thru Xom Bao Don and Truong Mit to its intersection with Hwy 239.

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607 SERIES
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ABOUT THE SERIES 607 MAPS
(SPECIAL USE S.E.ASIA 1:100,000)
These maps cover so much territory – they are made up of several 7014 maps – that the scale makes reading details so hard that I do not recommend getting a copy from the Library of Congress – stick to the 7014 size maps. BUT, if you can get an original on e-bay, etc., do so, as these are highly detailed and enlarge “real good” with a copier..

SERIES L607
Stock No. 6231
The map covers SOUTHERN WAR ZONE C from the “French Fort” and the Michelin, south to the northern “Angel’s Wing” and Trang Bang. Does not have Cu Chi on it. The map is superimposed with province boundaries and AO nicknames (like “Straight Edge Woods,” “Trapezoid,” etc. It should be noted – for those who own this map – that the place names marked on this map “Onion” is really the Mushroom, and “Mushroom” is really the Onion – evidently, the map maker got these mixed up. Everything else seems OK. If you can get a color version of this map – say through e-bay or a surplus store – it would be worth it, but the black and white from the Library of Congress doesn’t cut the mustard.

Series L607
Sheet 6232
This map covers the FISHOOK and NORTHERN WAR ZONE C (upper Tay Ninh Province and Cambodia). Places of interest to 2/12th guys are; KATUM, CAMBODIA OPERATIONS, FSB BURT etc.

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7014 SERIES:
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Stock No. L7014 6231 IV
TAY NINH
This map, Tay Ninh, covers Nui Ba Den (Black Virgin Mountain). Tay Ninh Base Camp. Soui Da and Tria Bi bases for 1967 operations. Southern War Zone C.

Stock No. L7014 6231 III
AN THANH
This map covers the northern half of the Angels Wing. Very limited 2/12th operations here.

Stock No. L7014 6231 II
HIEU THIEN (GO DAU HA), VIETNAM
This map, Hieu Thien, covers from Go Da Ha and the Vam Co Dong/Oriental River (on the western part) to just past Trung Lap (on the eastern part of the map). It runs north to the Saigon River. On this map you will be able to locate – using place names or grid co-ordinates – places like Trang Bang, Six-Alpha, FSB Pershing, FSB Stuart (III), PB Dees, PB Lorance, the Citadel, the southern Boi Loi woods, the Mushroom and the western Ho Bo woods. On it are infamous villages like Tam Dinh, Suoi Sup, Bo Heo, Ong Dam and Ap Tinh Phoung. This map covers the 2/12th main area of operation (AO) from mid 1968 to early 1970. It is an important map for researching grid locations during this time – the XT___ ___ in official records and reports.

Stock No. L7014 6231 I
TRI TAM (QUAN DAU TING), VIETNAM
This map, Tri Tam, covers the southern Dau Tieng AO of the early years (1966 to mid ’68) and part of 1970. This map goes directly above map L7014 6231 II (listed above). It covers from the upper Boi Loi (on the western portion of the map) to the Province boarder of Ben Cat. It goes well north into the jungles of Tay Ninh. On it you will find Soui Tre, the Razorback mountains, the Michelin Rubber Plantation, the Ben Cui Rubber, Dau Tieng and more.

Stock No. L7014 6232 III
TA DATH
This map covers the area west of Katum, Vietnam and includes northern highway TL-4 – the supply road from Tay Ninh to Katum. Covers southern “Hump” Cambodian border area south. Eastern portion of map starts 1 mile east of Katum, with a small sliver of highway 246.

Stock No. L7014 6332 IV
LOC NINH
The Loc Ninh map covers the area of the fierce 5 November 1967 battle – when the 3rd Brigade (2/12th Inf included) rushed to help the Big Red One defend Loc Ninh Special Forces Camp. The Big Red One had gotten badly chewed up in October – read the best seller ‘ They Marched Into Sunlight. ‘

Stock No. L7014 6330 IV
THANH PHO HO CHI MINH (HO CHI MINH CITY)
Don’t let the name fool ya! This map covers the Cu Chi to Saigon corridor down Highway 1. On the map you’ll find a bit of the southern Cu Chi Base. The map covers such places of battle as Tan Hoa (Tet 68 “Six Day Battle”), the Hoc Mon bridge and Hoc Mon (Tet 68), Ton Son Nhut Airbase and (without much detail) the City of Saigon. The Bien Hoa-Long Binh bases are not on this map.

Stock No. L7014 6330 I
BIEN HOA
Not much on this map but the Air Force Base. Map covers area of highway QL-1 (on the north) south to Long Than area along highway QL-15. Covers the area of the Long Binh Post (vic YS0507), but no detail of base.

Long Binh (Army) Post. Camp Frenzell-Jones – the battalion “rear” in late 1970 through “Stand Down” in March 71. Bearcat – the Bn’s first home in Sep 66. Also reaches about half way east to Xuan Loc from Saigon.

Stock No. L7014 6430 IV
XA XUAN LOC
This map, Xuan Loc, has the western and southwestern Xuan Loc AO on it – and Xuan Loc city. Blackhorse and west of Highway 2. Checkerboard rubber plantation.

Stock No. L7014 6430 I
XAM CAM MY
This map, Xam Cam My, covers area east of Blackhorse and south into Aussie AO. Sparrow Valley.

Stock No. L7014 6431 III
XA GAI KIEM
[That’s 6-4-3-1 troops… note the switch from above 6430.]
This map, Xa Gai Kiem, has the northwestern Xuan Loc AO on it.

Stock No. L7014 6431 II
DINH QUAN
This map, Dinh Quan, covers the area northeast of Xuan Loc. Battalion saw heavy in this area at the end in 1971.

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7016 SERIES MAPS:
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I don’t have any of these maps, so I can’t vouch for them. – b.h.

Stock No. L7016 6232 IV [Covers Memut, Cambodia.]

Stock No. L7016 6132 II [Covers Dogs Face (1967 action) and some Cambodia.]

Stock No. L7016 6131 I [Covers far western Tay Ninh border with Cambodia. 1967 action (with Trai Bi as “Rear.”).]

 

 

 

 

 

© 2003 by B. Holzhauer
© 2006 by Bruce Holzhauer