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"Need advice on how to find records on a pilot" Topic

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609 hits since 20 Nov 2011
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Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2011 7:07 p.m. PST

A friend is looking for info on his grandfather, a ww1 flier,
awarded the D.F.C. Sept 11, 1918 and died in France, (plane crash) Oct 1918. The online searches have not produced results. Any ideas? thanks

vojvoda Inactive Member20 Nov 2011 7:35 p.m. PST

What country? I found my grandfather and father's service record through the freedom of information act. That is in the US. It took months but I got the information.

James Mattes

vojvoda Inactive Member20 Nov 2011 7:37 p.m. PST

Oh I see you are in Ohio. Contact the VA and submit the paperwork. You should get a copy of his DD214. It might not tell you much but it will tell you more than you know. Also ask about the unit's record it will contain a lot of information.

James Mattes

dmclellan Inactive Member20 Nov 2011 9:22 p.m. PST

See the National Archives link listed below for details.


Hopefully the record you are looking to find was not one that was lost in the fire.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2011 3:13 a.m. PST

Hello folks – Thanks for the input. I forwarded your advice on to my friend who promptly informed me that he was British and part of the RFC and then RAF. I'm going to add a thread to the British Wargaming board as well but if anyone has suggestions please let me know.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2011 6:46 a.m. PST

A suggestion to search the Commonwealth War Graves Commission revealed a hit. His name was Lt Jonathan Martin Brown, died 03/10/1918. We now have his burial plot but nothing else and that lists his awards as DFC. Bob (my friend) would love to learn what he got his DFC for as well as any squadron info. Any further suggestions? Is there any list of Commonwealth DFC recipients for WW1?

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2011 6:53 a.m. PST

This won't help Private Matter's friend, but for Americans who are searching for WW1 US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel records, another source besides the National Archives is your state's archives or historical society.

In the early 1920s, the states were bombarding the War and Navy Departments with requests for information on their state's veterans for state veteran benefits purposes. The two departments gisted the service records of all soldiers, sailors, and marines onto index cards and gave each state their copy. Here in Mississippi, the cards first went to the Adjutant General's office, then to the Veterans' Affairs Board, and finally to the State Archives where they are now available for public use. We just had them scanned and soon they will be available on-line through our web site and through the Family Search web site, but I can't give a time line yet.

Here is the catalog record write-up about both the cards and the indexes that were complied from them. Click on the "Title Notes" button to read the description of the series.



I know that Alabama has their cards in their state archives and Texas has theirs in the State Military Museum at the old Bergstrom AFB outside of Austin.


dwight shrute21 Nov 2011 2:51 p.m. PST

all the remaining war records were free on the family research site up to nov 11th , u now have to pay for them . a huge number of ww1 war records were lost in the blitz in ww2

dwight shrute21 Nov 2011 2:51 p.m. PST
dwight shrute21 Nov 2011 2:53 p.m. PST

Could be a US citizen ???


Camcleod23 Nov 2011 8:42 a.m. PST

Private Matter

You could ask on "The Aerodrome Forum"

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.