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Archival Description

1 result retrieved for 583428
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Records of World War II Prisoners of War, compiled 1942 - 1947, documenting the period 12/07/1941 - 11/19/1946

ARC Identifier 583428

Series from Record Group 389: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, 1920 - 1975

Details | Scope & Content | Archived Copies | Hierarchy |
Creator(s):War Department. The Adjutant General's Office. (03/04/1907 - 09/18/1947)
Type(s) of Archival Materials:Data Files
Textual Records

National Archives at College Park - Electronic Records (RD-DC-E), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001. PHONE: 301-837-0470; FAX: 301-837-3681; EMAIL:

Other Title(s):W.D.A.G.O. FORM NO. 0326
Inclusive Dates:1942 - 1947
Coverage Dates:12/07/1941 - 11/19/1946
Date Note:December 7, 1941 to November 19, 1946 are the earliest and latest report dates in the records. The 1942 to 1947 dates indicate the time period when the Adjutant General's Office created and maintained the database.
Part Of:Record Group 389: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, 1920 - 1975
Includes: 14 file units described in ARCSearch within this Series
Function and Use:Using copies of reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the agency produced records on U.S. military and civilian prisoners of war and internees, as well as for some Allied internees. The agency used these records to generate monthly reports.
Access Restriction(s):Unrestricted
Use Restriction(s):Unrestricted
General Note(s):Additional information about the Adjutant General's Office, Machine Records Units and the coding of the POW cards may be found in Lee A. Gladwin, "Top Secret: Recovering and Breaking the US Army and Army Air Force Order of Battle Codes, 1941-1945," in PROLOGUE (Fall, 2000) and "American POWs on Japanese Ships Take a Voyage into Hell," in PROLOGUE (Winter, 2003).

The punch card records were transferred to NARA with virtually no agency documentation. NARA staff constructed documentation from paper records in the Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal (RG 389) and the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (RG 407).
The other title, "W.D.A.G.O. FORM NO. 0326," was printed on each punch card. It is the form number that the War Department used to reference this series.
A description of the punch cards is in the NARA publication "Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees" (Reference Information Paper 80, 1992, p. 6-7).
In 1978, the Veteran's Administration (VA) converted to an electronic format, and later transferred to NARA, the file units "World War II Prisoners of War Records, 1941-1946: American Military Prisoners of War Returned Alive From the European Theater, A-V" (ARC Identifier 1515992) and "World War II Prisoners of War Records, 1941-1946: American Military Prisoners of War Returned Alive From the Pacific Theater" (ARC Identifier 1515994). These electronic records files were used in the VA study of repatriated prisoners of war which resulted in the series "Repatriated American Prisoners of War File, November 1978-1980" (ARC Identifier 1128356). In May-June 1998, NARA arranged for the conversion of the remaining punchcards that resulted in eleven additional files based on the breaks imposed by the agency in the original series of punch cards. One of the 11 files, the file unit "World War II Prisoners of War Records, 1941-1946: American Military Prisoners of War Returned Alive From the European Theater, Vititoe-Zywot" (ARC Identifier 1515993) completed the records of European Theater returned alive prisoners of war. In June 2002, to provide for access to these records in the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system, NARA merged the 13 original files to create the file "World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946" (ARC Identifier 1263907).
Finding Aid Type:Doc. Package
Finding Aid Note:The documentation package contains 145 pages.
Online Resource:Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system
Online Resource URL:
Online Resource Note:The electronic records in this series can be searched online via the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system.
Online Resource:Ancestry
Online Resource URL:
Online Resource Note:This series has been made available online by our partner,, for a fee. The records on are available free of charge in all NARA Research Rooms, including those in our regional archives and Presidential Libraries.
Index Terms:
Lifecycle Tracking Information 
Disposition Authority Number(s):N3-389-57-384
Accession Number(s):NN3-389-57-384
Custodial History Note:The U.S. Army transferred punch card records of World War II prisoners of war (POWs) to NARA as a unique series in its 1959 transfer of all of the U.S. Army's Departmental Archives. In 1978 the Veterans Administration borrowed most of the punch card records of repatriated U.S. military personnel for a study of Repatriated U.S. Military Prisoners of War, migrated the data on almost all of the borrowed cards to an electronic format and returned the punch cards and two electronic records data files to NARA. In 1995 NARA migrated the data from almost all of the remaining punch card records to an electronic format and has subsequently preserved all of the records in a single data file.



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