Using WWII Navy Enlistment Records to Research Your Family History
Golden Arrow Research

Using WWII Navy Enlistment Records to Research Your Family History

To request the WWII Navy military service records of your sailor click here: Request WWII Navy military service records

WWII Navy Enlistment Records

This article provides a brief overview of the enlistment documents which are found among the military service records of the WWII Navy official military personnel file (or O.M.P.F.). The WWII Navy enlistment records which are contained in the WWII Navy official military personnel file of the individual WWII Navy veteran are an excellent tool for conducting research of one’s family history. Because the Navy was so thorough in documenting the enlistment process, the WWII official military personnel file and its enlistment papers often contain a wealth of information pertaining to both the WWII Navy veteran and their immediate family members as well. The WWII Navy enlistment records are stored at the National Archives where they can be viewed in person by appointment. Let’s look briefly at the different types of documents which can be found among the enlistment records inside of the WWII Navy official military personnel file.

New recruits were required to fill out several enlistment forms during the application process for entry into the naval service during WWII. The application for enlistment is probably the most important of these forms and its pages provide us with some of the most useful details that can be found about the individual WWII Navy veteran within the WWII Navy official military personnel file. The WWII Navy enlistment application provides biographical information on the WWII Navy veteran such as: the Navy veterans full name, date of birth, place of birth, marital status and number of dependents.

WWII Navy official military personnel file enlistment records at the National Archives.

Further documentation on the WWII Navy application for enlistment include things like: prior military service, criminal convictions, education level, and civilian occupations (often detailing specific tasks that job required). This latter portion of the WWII Navy enlistment application typically required a resume-like written explanation which was scrawled in the veteran’s own handwriting. Information on the veteran’s religious affiliation, the identity of their parents and their addresses are also included on the WWII Navy application for enlistment.

WWII Navy veteran official military personnel file OMPF application for enlistment

The WWII Navy enlistment application also includes the results of the fresh recruit’s initial medical examination. The medical enlistment examination of the WWII Navy veteran includes everything from weight, eye color, hair color, vision and pulse rate to the girth of the WWII Navy veteran’s waistline. The WWII Naval enlistment medical exam was extremely thorough and if the new recruit received passing marks it meant that they were qualified for military service.

WWII Navy enlistment medical examination from the military service records in the official military personnel file OMPF

Many WWII Navy veterans were still minors when they began the process to enlist in the naval service. If this was the case for your WWII Navy veteran then they would have had to have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver which provided consent for a minor to enlist in the Navy. These WWII Navy enlistment documents can also prove useful when researching one’s family history since they provide additional details on the WWII Navy veteran’s next of kin and family situation at the time of enlistment.

Consent of parental guardian for WWII enlistment in the Navy from military service records in the official military personnel file OMPF at NARA

At times you might find actual vital records among the WWII Navy enlistment records in your Navy veterans military service records. If, for example the Navy required a parental guardian to give consent for the enlistment of a minor, they also would have required a birth certificate showing the legal relationship of the WWII Navy veteran to their parent. This is yet another great resources for conducting research of one’s family history which can be accomplished using the military service records and enlistment documents of the WWII Navy official military personnel file.

vital records for family research in the WWII Navy application for enlistment from the OMPF official military personnel file

After completing the WWII Navy enlistment form, undergoing the extensive medical evaluation, and submitting required supporting documentation, all of the paperwork and medical results were placed inside of the WWII Navy veteran’s official military personnel file. As noted previously, the WWII Navy official military personnel files are stored at the National Archives and can be viewed in person upon request. While it is exciting to view the original WWII Navy enlistment documents and other papers in the official military personnel file yourself, this is not always a feasible option. In many cases it is actually much cheaper (no travel or lodging expenses required) to hire a reputable company like Golden Arrow Research to scan and email you the high resolution digital copies of your veteran’s military personnel file. If you are interested in accessing the military service records in your WWII Navy veteran’s official military personnel file, please visit our ordering page here: Request WWII Navy Military Service Records

For more info on available records check out our articles here: Military Service Records Blog

The Naval History and Heritage Command has some useful links as well: Further info on WWII Navy military service records

Request Your veteran’s WWII Navy military service records

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Golden Arrow Research

Golden Arrow Research