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OI 328.5 Verification when official records have been destroyed.
U.S. Army records for the years preceding 1960 have been destroyed, and verification of service cannot be obtained from St. Louis. A petitioner, claiming military service before 1960, shall submit original DD Form 214, with his Form N-426. The latter will not be forwarded to St. Louis, but shall be retained in the "A" file. In addition, the petitioner shall be called upon to submit his discharge certificate and any other available documentation relating to the claimed period of service, in support of the
claim. The petitioner's signature must be carefully compared to signatures appearing on documents relating to military service, and the petitioner, at the time of filing the petition, and without advance warning, shall be required to present documentation establishing his identity as the person named in the DD Form 214, such as drivers license, alien registration receipt card, possible lease of apartment or home. In addition, a personal investigation at the claimed place of residence or employment shall
be conducted, the investigator being fortified with a photo of the petitioner, to determine the claimed identity of the petitioner as the veteran named in the DD Form 214. Upon the ultimate conclusion that the claim is authentic, the DD Form 214 may be accepted as secondary evidence and presented, on that issue, grant, facts to court.
Where verification of U.S. Army service after 1959, on Form N-426 cannot be verified after two requested at least two months apart, and the lapse of six months, the procedure outlined hereinafter for the use of DD Form 214 as secondary evidence shall be followed.
No secondary evidence shall be acceptable in any case, unless supported by a DD Form 214, and proof of identity in the manner indicated.
Records of the U.S. Air Force, for names starting with the letters Hu and continuing through the alphabet through the letter Z are not available for the periods prior to 1965. The procedure outlined above shall be followed respecting the use of secondary evidence.
Records of service for the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard are available and regular Form N-426 procedures shall be followed until verification cannot be obtained under procedures herein, at which point secondary evidence (DD Form 214) procedures will be followed.