The Arrowhead Club

Military Records Received

I received fifteen pages of copies from the NPRC shortly after they mailed them on February 18, 2015, in addition to a letter noting that “the copy quality is the best that can be obtained.”

The documents included:

INFORMAL INFORMATION REPLY

This document looks like a reply for information requested by my mother and is dated October 31, 1994. It supplies very little actual information. It shows my father’s dates of POW status as September 28, 1944 to May 8, 1945. It also shows that:

  • The record needed to answer your inquiry is not in our files. If the record were here on July 12, 1973, it would have been in the area that suffered the most damage in the fire on that date and may have been destroyed.
  • The enclosed copies of documents were obtained from an alternate record source.
  • However, complete records cannot be reconstructed.
  • And, we regret that these sources do not contain the particular type of information or document requested.

It also gave an alternate address to request information about medals.

ENVELOPE (COPIED)

The envelope in which my mother mailed her request on September 28, 1994 (exactly 50 years after the mid-air collision) to:

AIR FORCE MANPOWER AND PERSONNEL CENTER
MILITARY PERSONNEL RECORDS DIVISION
RANDOLPH AFB, TX. 78150-6001

REQUEST PERTAINING TO MILITARY RECORDS

…filled out by my mother. Her request was for my father’s “Military history, where trained and where sent overseas. Also record of being a Prisoner of War in Germany, dates and camps, and what battles.”

For the purpose for which information or documents are needed, she wrote:  “Since he is deceased, we would like to have the Military history to include in our Family history and for the benefit of me and our children. Also what medals issued.”

INSTRUCTIONS

…presumably printed on the back of the REQUEST PERTAINING TO MILITARY RECORDS form.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION MPR FINDING AID REPORT

After a search on my father’s social security number, on 10/12/94 at 15:00:33, this report was summed up simply: NOT FOUND.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION MPR FINDING AID REPORT

After a search on my father’s service number, on 10/12/94 at 15:00:39, this report returned the following information:

SGO HOSPITAL LIST         QT          H 1945 022 002
FARRAR GEORGE E          QM         P 0000 193 180
FARRAR GEORGE E          QT          W280944 080545
FARRAR GEORGE E          AR          R 0009 076 277

ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES HONORABLE DISCHARGE certificate

ENLISTED RECORD AND REPORT OF SEPARATION, HONORABLE DISCHARGE form

  • Battles and campaigns included Normandy, No. France, and Rhineland.
  • Decorations and citations included American Theater Ribbon, EAME Ribbon w/3 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, Air Medal w/1 Bronze Cluster
  • Wounds received in action listed Germany 28 September 44.
  • Service schools attended were Kingman, Ariz., Ft. Myers, Fla.

ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES SEPARATION QUALIFICATION RECORD (front)

Military Occupational Assignments:

  • 1 month as Pvt in AAF Basic Tng 521
  • 13 months as Sgt as AAF Gunnery Instructor 938
  • 3 months as S/Sgt Airplane Armorer Gunner 612

Summary of Military Occupations:

  • AAF GUNNERY INSTRUCTOR (938) – Instructed Military Personnel in flexible gunnery for 7 months 1943 at Kingman, Arizona. Conducted and administered training classes and gunnery tests. Administered phase checks, organized students and instructors for training in aerial gunner for six months at Armore [Ardmore] OTU, Okla.
  • AIRPLANE ARMORER GUNNER – Was a crew member of a B-17 at an 8th AF Heavy Bombardment Base in England for 3 months in 1944. Flew 17 missions over German Occupied territory. Flew as Armorer Gunner in lead ship and was responsible for inspection and repair of bomb racks, gun sights, and turrets. Fired 50 caliber machine gun from Waist position when in combat.

ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES SEPARATION QUALIFICATION RECORD (back)

MILITARY EDUCATION

  • ACGS: Kingman, Ariz. Flexible Gunnery, (30 and 50 caliber machine guns) 6 weeks.
  • AC INSTRUCTORS SCHOOL – Ft.Myers, Fla. 6 wks. – Course included instruction and practical training in teaching methods and Student Psychology as well as fundamentals of advanced Aerial Gunnery.

TRANSMITTAL OF AND/OR ENTITLEMENT TO AWARDS

This form, dated September 19, 1988, noted approval of the Prisoner of War medal.  The approval verification at the bottom was actually dated September 28, 1988 (forty-four years  to the day after the mid-air collision).

TRANSMITTAL OF AND/OR ENTITLEMENT TO AWARDS

This form, also dated September 19, 1988, must refer to a different medal, but the writing on the form is too light to read.  I guess that’s part of the reference to the copy quality being the best that could be obtained.

VETERAN IDENTIFICATION SCREEN printout

This printout copy is very light, but I can read most of the information included, although most of the fields are not completed. Dates are correct: birth date, death date, enlistment date, and release date.  Social security and service numbers are noted.  The only other substantial bit of information on this printout is POW DAYS. It looks like it reads C030. I am unsure of the meaning of C030. His actual number of POW days was 217.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION – NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER (Military Personnel Records), dated 08/23/88.

NAME                                   SERVICE               REGISTER
                                              CODE                    NUMBER              
SGO HOSPITAL LIST         QT                          H 1945 022 002
FARRAR GEORGE E          QT                          W280944 080545
FARRAR GEORGE E          QM                         P 0000 193 180

PRISONER OF WAR (POW) MEDAL APPLICATION/INFORMATION

A copy of the form my mother filled out on August 17, 1988 to apply for a posthumous POW medal for my dad. She included the description:

Was in B-17 #4337822. Plane on right hit by ground fire and hit the plane George Edwin Farrar was on, at 30,000 ft., coming off a target in Magdeburg, Germany. He was knocked unconscious, came to, hooked up parachute, landed on the ground. He was only survivor out of a crew of nine (9). He was liberated on May 2, 1945. Sent to Brussels, Belgium and on to a hospital in France where he spent several weeks.

He was a prisoner at Stalag Luft IV and was on a forced march across Germany from Feb. 6, 1945 until May 2, 1945.

Do not have POW identification card but do have the POW tag #3885.

I would have liked to have received much, much more information on my dad’s years of service in the Army Air Forces, but this is all that is left of his official military personnel record. Thanks to the internet and 384thBombGroup.com, I have been able to piece together a much more complete picture, and find new information every day…

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2016

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