How to Obtain Medals for WWII Service

Written by tony pierce
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How to Obtain Medals for WWII Service
Military medals earned in World War II can be issued by request. (medals of honour image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com)

Medals earned through military service, especially in an epic conflict like World War II, are a priceless treasure for those who have served and their family members. Requests for issuance or replacement of medals earned through service in World War II are usually handled by the branch of the military the individual served in, though some branches' requests go through the National Personnel Records Center. The request can be placed online or through the mail.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Printer
  • Envelope
  • Standard Form 180 (SF-180)
  • Death certificate, letter from funeral home or published obituary for deceased military member

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Instructions

    Requests using eVetRecs (for veterans and next-of-kin)

  1. 1

    Visit Archives.gov, the website for the National Archives.

  2. 2

    Click on "Veterans and their Families" on the right hand side of the page under "Archives.gov for..."

  3. 3

    Click on "Use the eVetRecs request system" in the middle of the page under "To get copies of Military Service Records (eg: DD 214)".

  4. 4

    Click "Launch eVetRecs--Request Military Records" on the right side of the page.

  5. 5

    Enter the required information in the system to create your request.

  6. 6

    Provide as much information as possible in "Step 3" under the "Comments" section.

  7. 7

    Print out the request. If you don't have a printer, information will be provided on how to continue. The Privacy Act of 1974 requires all requests be submitted in writing.

  8. 8

    Sign and date the printed request form.

  9. 9

    Include proof of death if you are the next-of-kin seeking the medal. Next-of-kin can be a surviving spouse who has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother. Proof of death can be a death certificate, a letter from a funeral home director or a published obituary.

  10. 10

    Mail the printed, signed and dated form and any applicable documents to: (if requesting medal for Army or Air Force veterans) National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100; (if requesting medal for Navy, Marine or Coast Guard veterans) Navy Personnel Command, Liaison Office Room 5409, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

    Requests using Standard Form 180 (SF-180)

  1. 1

    Visit Archives.gov, the website for the National Archives.

  2. 2

    Click on "Veterans and their Families" on the right hand side of the page under "Archives.gov for..."

  3. 3

    Click on "Mail or Fax Standard Form SF-180" in the middle of the page under "To get copies of Military Service Records (eg: DD 214)".

  4. 4

    Click "Mail or Fax a Standard Form SF-180" in the centre of the page.

  5. 5

    Click "Standard Form 180" to download and print the form. The form can also be requested by writing the National Personnel Records Center at: 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63132, or through the Department of Defense, your local Veterans Administration office or through veteran service organisations.

  6. 6

    Fill out SF-180, being sure to include as much detail as possible.

  7. 7

    Sign and date SF-180.

  8. 8

    Include proof of death if you are the next-of-kin seeking the medal. Next-of-kin can be a surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother. Proof of death can be a death certificate, a letter from a funeral home director or a published obituary.

  9. 9

    Mail SF-180 and any applicable documents to: (if requesting medal for Army or Air Force veterans) National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100; (if requesting medal for Navy, Marine or Coast Guard veterans) Navy Personnel Command, Liaison Office Room 5409, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

Tips and warnings

  • SF-180 can be used by the veterans and next-of-kin if they please, but must be used by all others seeking a service member's medals. There is usually no charge for issuing or replacing medals. The time it takes to fulfil a request depends on the branch of the service sending the medal.

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