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M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, Chapter 2, Section G – Former Prisoner of War (FPOW) Service Records


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:


Topic Name


General Information on FPOW Records


World War II (WWII) Record Groups Held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Suitland Reference Branch


Sources of WWII Record Groups, Other Than NARA


Korean Conflict Record Groups

1.  General Information on FPOW Records


This topic contains general information on FPOW records, including

Change Date

May 11, 2015

III.iii.2.G.1.a.  Importance of Verifying FPOW Status

It may be necessary to obtain former prisoner of war (FPOW) records when determining FPOW status

  • for purposes of determining eligibility to benefits under 38 CFR 3.309(c), and
  • instances where certification of FPOW status is relevant to benefit eligibility.

Reference:  For more information on developing for FPOW status, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart v, 1.C.2.

III.iii.2.G.1.b.  FPOW Information Available at NARA

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has

  • a significant amount of information on FPOWs from World War II (WWII)
  • limited information on FPOWs from the Korean Conflict
  • no records on FPOWs from the Vietnam era, and
  • on rare occasions, service treatment records (STRs).

III.iii.2.G.1.c.  Obtaining FPOW Information From NARA

In order to obtain information from NARA, send a request to the following address:
Military Reference Branch
National Archives
Washington, DC  20408
The request should include
  • the Veteran’s
    • name
    • service number
    • branch of service, and
    • dates of internment, and
  • the name of the country or group that held the Veteran prisoner, such as the Germans or Japanese.

III.iii.2.G.1.d.  Obtaining Evidence From the Claimant

If unable to obtain personnel or medical records for an FPOW, ask the claimant to submit all such evidence in his or her possession.
Reference:  For more information on requesting evidence of FPOW status from claimants, see M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii, 1.G.

2.  WWII Record Groups Held by NARA Suitland Reference Branch


This topic contains information on WWII record groups held by NARA, including

Change Date

August 13, 2009

III.iii.2.G.2.a.  Record Group 92, MACR

Record Group 92Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR), in the records of the Quartermaster General, provides information regarding

  • air crashes, and
  • subsequent captures.

III.iii.2.G.2.b.  Record Group 153, Records of the Office of the JAG, Army

Record Group 153Records of the Office of The Judge Advocate General (JAG), Army, contains interrogation reports of individual FPOWs after repatriation to the United States.
Individuals who were victims of, or who observed the atrocities in, the prisoner of war (POW) camps made the reports.

III.iii.2.G.2.c.  Record Group 242, the NARA Collection of Foreign Records Seized in 1941

Record Group 242the NARA Collection of Foreign Records Seized in 1941, provides an alphabetical listing of American flyers that were shot down and captured in Europe and North Africa.
The listing includes
  • name
  • rank
  • service number
  • date shot down
  • physical condition when captured, and
  • hospital or camp to which the flyers were taken.


  • Sometimes there is a list of the crew members who were with the flyers at the time of capture.
  • Both the original German records and the English translations of the lists are in NARA’s possession.

III.iii.2.G.2.d.  Record Group 332, Records of the U.S. Theaters of War, WWII

Record Group 332Records of the United States Theaters of War, WWII, contains the G-s, MIS-X file.
Note:  This is an alphabetical file of interrogations of escaped POWs.

III.iii.2.G.2.e.  Record Group 407, Strength and Accounting Branch

Record Group 407Strength and Accounting Branch, has strength returns and lists the following information:

  • names
  • service numbers, and
  • dates of internment.

3.  Sources of WWII Record Groups, Other Than NARA


This topic contains information on sources of WWII record groups, other than NARA, including

Change Date

August 13, 2009

III.iii.2.G.3.a.  Record Group 389, Records of the PMGO:  Master Indexes

Record Group 389Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General (PMGO), contains master indexes from the International Red Cross that identify American FPOWs during WWII.
The records available include:
  • 26 volumes of records on German POWs
  • 6 volumes of records on Japanese POWs, and
  • 1 volume of records on POWs interned in other countries.

The FPOWs are listed by

  • name
  • service number, and
  • branch of service.

III.iii.2.G.3.b.  Record Group 389, Records of the PMGO:  Lists From the American POW Information Bureau

Record Group 389Records of the Office of the PMGO, contains lists from the American POW Information Bureau, Records Branch, in the General Subject File, for the period 1942 to 1946.

Countries included in the lists are

  • Germany
  • Japan, and
  • the Philippines.

The listings are arranged

  • first by country of internment, then
  • by location of camp, and finally
  • alphabetically by name.

III.iii.2.G.3.c.  Record Group 407, the Philippines Archives Collection

Record Group 407the Philippines Archives Collection in the Records of The Adjutant General’s Office, 1917, includes some records for the following camps and others:

  • Bilibid
  • Cabanatuan, and
  • O’Donnell.

4.  Korean Conflict Record Groups


This topic contains information on the Korean Conflict record groups, including

Change Date

May 11, 2015

III.iii.2.G.4.a.  Where to Obtain POW Records From the Korean Conflict

The records listed in this topic are available from the groups indicated as having custody.

III.iii.2.G.4.b.  Record Group 319, Records of the Army Staff

The NARA Military Reference Branch has custody of Record Group 319Records of the Army Staff, which contains paper records for American FPOWs of the Korean Conflict and includes lists of the names of allies exchanged with the communists.

  • Volume 1
    • lists locations of POW camps identified by number and location, and
    • includes 140 pages of American FPOWs listed by name, service number, rank, unit and camp number, and
  • Volume 2 includes supplemental lists of both military and civilian prisoners of various nationalities.

III.iii.2.G.4.c.  Records Relating to the FPOW Status of Veterans of the Korean Conflict

The NARA Center for Electronic Records

  • handles requests for records relating to the FPOW status of Veterans of the Korean Conflict, and
  • has custody of the casualty lists that indicate FPOW status.

Important:  NARA will not release this information to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  To obtain this information, the claimant must request it directly from NARA.

Change-May-11-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1MRIII_iii_2_SecG_TS.docx May 12, 2019 39 KB
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