On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The affected record collections are described below.
|Army: Personnel discharged November 1, 1912 to January 1, 1960||80%|
|Air Force: Personnel discharged, September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964 (with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)||
No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. There were no indexes created prior to the fire. In addition, millions of documents had been lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs before the fire occurred. Therefore, a complete listing of the records that were lost is not available. Nevertheless, NPRC uses many alternate sources in its efforts to reconstruct basic service information to respond to requests. See Other Methods to Obtain Military Service Records, Access to Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) - for the General Public, and Auxiliary and Organizational Records, Holdings.