|Several years ago, a large fire destroyed records at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.
As a result, a number of records were destroyed, including a significant number of Korean War-era records.
However, there are thousands of documents still available regarding men who are KIA/MIA in the Korean War.
They are known as "Individual Deceased Personnel Files" (a/k/a "293 files), and they are held by the U.S.
Army Personnel Command. These files, maintained by at the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI),
are the records for those casualties who remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. A copy of the contents
of the IDPA file on particular veterans is available free of charge to direct relatives of Korean War KIA/MIA.
The IDPF records can contain (but are not limited to) the following information: how a serviceman died;
where he died (map coordinates, longitude/latitude), and his unit assignment at the time of his death. It
can also include autopsy, anthropology studies, or the identification process used to identify a
serviceman’s remains. If the body was recovered, who the military escort was. How or where a serviceman was
originally buried. What unit provided the military honors at graveside. A word of caution: some of the
material found in the IDPA files can be very graphic. The IDPF documents are extremely fragile. According to
Major Keith Orage, Repatriation and Family Affairs Division, CILHI is in the process of imaging these
documents because they are used to assist with search and recovery operations planning and execution.
Do you have a MIA/KIA/POW query? Family members are encouraged to contact a Service Casualty Officer to
obtain information regarding your missing loved one. An approved family member may visit the DPMO office to
review their loved one’s case file and meet with government officials, if desired. (The Service Offices will
determine who constitutes an approved family member.) The Individual Deceased Personnel File is only a phone
call away, which means that a trip to Washington DC is not necessary to find out about your loved one if
distance and financial resources do not permit traveling to Washington DC. Call your Service Casualty
Officer to establish the entitlement to review the file, then follow up with a written request.
Army: Department of the Army, TAPC-PER, 2461 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22331-0482; phone
Navy: Navy Personnel Command, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Casualty Assitance Branch, (NPC-621P), 5720
Integrity Drive, Millington, TN 38055-6210; phone 1-800-443-9298.
Marine Corps: Headquarters US Marine Corps, Manpower and Reserve Affairs (MRC), Personal and Family
Readiness Division, 3280 Russell Road, Quantico, VA 22134-5103; phone 1-800-847-1597. Website:
Air Force: USAF Missing Persons Branch, 550 C street West, Suite 15, Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4716; phone
1-800-531-5501. Website: http://www.afpc.af.mil/.
Department of State: Department of State, Office of AmCitizens Services and CM, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP, Attn:
Ms. Jenny Foo, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520; phone 1-202-647-6769.