United States, Records of World War II Prisoners of War (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States, World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1945 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Prisoners of War
Record Group RG 389: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, 1941-
Collection years 1941-1945
National Archives Identifier 583428
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains a name index of American soldiers who were prisoners of war during World War II acquired from the National Archives, "Access to Archival Databases" (AAD). The records are from the Office of the Provost Marshal General, Record Group 389.

Collection Content

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

  • Date of report
  • Full name of soldier
  • Grade
  • State of residence
  • Parent unit number
  • Type of organization
  • Latest report day
  • Status
  • Name of camp
  • Name of transport ship

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know:

  • The full name of the soldier.
  • The age of the soldier.
  • The birth date of the soldier.
  • The death date of the soldier.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. This information will often lead you to other records.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or burial records.
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Prisoners who enlisted in the United States military may have service records or pensions from the United States.
  • Compile a list of other prisoners with the same surname. If the surname is uncommon, they may be relatives.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation

“United States, World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1945.” Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Office of the Provost Marshal General, Record Group 389. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., United States.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1945.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.