Reconstruct Records Destroyed in National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) Fire


About Reconstruct Records Destroyed in National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) Fire


In 1973, a fire at the NPRC in St. Louis, Missouri, destroyed the records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army and Air Force during certain periods of time.


  • The Army between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960.  The fire destroyed 80% of the records held for Veterans discharged from the Army during this time period.  The fire did not involved records for retirees and Reservists who were alive on July 12, 1973, or

  • The Air Force between September 25, 1947 and January 1, 1964.  The fire destroyed 75% of the records held for Veterans discharged from the Air Force during this time period with surnames beginning with “HUBBARD” and running through the end of the alphabet.

 How does VA reconstruct my records? 

VA submit a specific request to the NPRC, for any additional service records they may have or can find for you.  With the information VA provide, the NPRC searches for documents that may help to reconstruct your records.  They may also reach out to other government agencies.  For example, VA may try to reconstruct portions of your service treatment records by reviewing unit records, morning reports, and hospital admission records from the Surgeon General’s office.

How can I get the records I need to support my VA disability compensation claim? 

If you are filing a VA disability compensation claim, follow these steps to get the records you need.

  • Fill out the National Archives request for information form.  You will need to fill out a NA form 13055 (Request for Information Needed to Reconstruct Medical Data).  The National Archives will use this form as the VA’s request to the NPRC to reconstruct your records.

  • Please give as much information as you can about your assignment during service, including  any of these that apply to you:


    • Unit

    • Company

    • Battalion

    • Regiment

    • Squadron

    • Group

    • Wing


Gather or request other records or documents  

VA will also look at other records or documents (called “supplemental records”) to help decide your claim.  You can provide these records or ask VA to help you find them.  Please send the VA any of these documents you may have:

  • Statements from service medical personnel.

  • Certified “buddy” statements or affidavits from fellow service members who witnessed your injury or illness.

  • Military accident and police reports.

  • Examination reports related to employment or insurance.

  • Letters or photographs from your time in the service.

  • Prescription records.

  • Photocopies of any service treatment records or medical reports from any private hospitals, clinics, or doctors who treated you during service or shortly after separation.


Submit your disability compensation claim, NA Form 13055, and any supporting documents.  You can file your claim on line, by mail, in-person, or with the help of a trained professional.  For claims involving the reconstruction of records, the VA encourage you to work with a professional, such as an accredited attorney, claims agents, or Veterans Service Officer

Afterward, can you do shortcut for this item.


(VSO).  Make sure include your NA Form13055 and any supplemental records or other documents you may have with your claim.