United States, Casualties of the Vietnam War (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States

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United States Casualties of the Vietnam War, 1956-1998 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Vietnam War Casualties
Record Group RG 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Collection years 1956-1998
National Archives Identifier 306742
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in the Collection?

This index consists of two files:

a) Combat Area Casualties Current File, 6/8/1956 - 1/21/1998 (58,193 records)
b) Combat Area Casualties Returned Alive File, 5/1/1962 - 3/22/1979 (772 records)

The files were created by the Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Service, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, Statistical Information Analysis Division. They served as the official repository for records on US military casualties in the Southeast Asian combat areas (Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Thailand) occurring during the Vietnam War. Included within casualties were the following:

  • Vietnam War dead
  • Missing in action
  • Prisoners of war

The files were acquired from the National Archives "Access to Archival Databases" the records are from Record Group 330 Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. [AAD Series Description] See also ARC Identifier 306742.

To locate the "Access to Archival Databases" go the National Archives website at www.archives.gov, from the home page under "Resources” click “ A-Z Index" on the “Subject Index” page, under the letter alphabet, click on “AAD (Access to Archival Databases)” The military indexes should be found under “Wars/International Relations.”

The event date is either date of death or declared dead from the current file or date released or returned alive from the returned alive file.

Collection Content

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Information found in this collection may include:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death or repatriation (return or restoration to one’s own country)
  • Home state and city of record (if known)
  • Social Security or Service number
  • Religious affiliation
  • Marital status

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of death.
  • The state where your ancestor lived.
  • The ancestor's Social Security or service number.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial 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 in the casualty list, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information found on the casualty list to search for a death record for your ancestor.
  • Use the information found on the casualty list to search for other military records.
  • Use the information found on the casualty list to search for the family in census records.
  • Use the information found on the casualty list to search for the family in additional state and county records.

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.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • 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:

Department of Defense. Records on Military Personnel Who Died, Were Missing in Action or Prisoners of War as a Result of the Vietnam War, created, 1/20/1967 - 12/1998, documenting the period 6/8/1956 - 1/21/1998. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

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, Casualties of the Vietnam War, 1956-1998.

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.