WW 2 US Army Discharge Papers – Codes

World War II marked a significant period in world history, and the United States played a pivotal role in the conflict. After the war, millions of American soldiers were discharged from the military, and each received a discharge paper that contained various codes. These codes contained valuable information about the soldier’s branch of service, military occupational specialty, type of discharge, and other important details. In this article, we will explore the significance of WW2 US Army discharge papers, decipher the various codes used, and discuss the challenges and resources available for deciphering these historical documents.

The Importance of WW2 US Army Discharge Papers

WW2 US Army Discharge Papers, also known as separation papers or DD Form 214, served as an official record of a soldier’s service during the war. These papers were essential to veterans as they provided proof of military service, entitlement to benefits, and eligibility for various programs. Understanding the codes used in these discharge papers allows researchers, historians, and family members to gain insight into a soldier’s military experience.

Branch of Service Codes: Identifying a Soldier’s Military Branch

One of the key elements in WW2 US Army discharge papers is the branch of service code. This code identifies the soldier’s military branch, such as Army (AR), Navy (NV), Marines (MC), Coast Guard (CG), or Army Air Forces (AF). Decoding these branch codes provides valuable information about the soldier’s primary service and the specific branch to which he was assigned during World War II.

Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Codes: Uncovering Specialized Roles

Another important aspect of WW2 US Army discharge papers is the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code. These codes represent the soldier’s specialized role or job within their branch of service. MOS codes range from infantry and artillery to medical and administrative positions. Deciphering these codes helps us understand the soldier’s specific role and responsibilities within the military hierarchy.

Discharge Type Codes: Understanding Separation from the Military

Discharge type codes on WW2 US Army discharge papers provide valuable insight into how a soldier was separated from the military. These codes indicate whether the discharge was honorable, dishonorable, or under special circumstances, such as a medical discharge or reduction in force. Understanding these codes allows us to gain a deeper understanding of a soldier’s final status after World War II.

Additional information: Rank, Dates of Service, Overseas Service, and Commendations

WW2 US Army discharge papers also contain additional information that sheds light on a soldier’s military career. This information includes the soldier’s rank, dates of service, overseas service, and any awards or decorations received. Decoding this information provides a comprehensive overview of the soldier’s service record, their contributions during the war, and the recognition they received for their efforts.

Decoding WW2 US Army Discharge Papers: Challenges and Resources

Deciphering WW2 US Army Discharge Papers can be challenging due to the complexity and variety of codes used. However, there are many resources available to assist in the decoding process. Online databases, military archives, and veteran support organizations provide valuable information and guidance for understanding the codes and interpreting the information contained in these historic documents.

World War II Definition

World War II was a global military conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945. It involved most of the nations of the world (including all the great powers, as well as practically all the European nations) grouped in two opposing military alliances: The Allies, on the one hand, and the Axis powers, on the other. It was the greatest war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized and a state of total war in which the great contenders devoted all their economic, military and scientific capacity to the service of the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by events of enormous impact that included the massive death of civilians (the Holocaust, the intensive bombing of cities and the use, for the first time in a military conflict, of nuclear weapons), the Second World War was the deadliest in history, resulting in between 50 and 70 million victims, 2.5% of the world’s population.

The beginning of the conflict is usually placed at September 1, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland, when Hitler decided on the incorporation of one of his most sensitive expansionist claims: The Polish Corridor, which involved the invasion of the western half of Poland; the eastern half, together with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union, while Finland managed to maintain its independence from the Soviets (Winter War). The United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany, which they expected as a repetition of the trench warfare (“mock warfare”) for which they had taken all kinds of precautions (Maginot line) that proved to be utterly useless. The spectacular maneuvers of the blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) gave Germany in a few months control of Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France itself, while the British army escaped in extremis from the beaches of Dunkirk during the battle of France. Most of the European continent was occupied by the German army or by its allies, including Fascist Italy, whose military contribution was not very significant (Battle of the Alps, Greco-Italian War).

The Battle of Britain, the first completely aerial battle in history, kept the pressure on the new government of Winston Churchill, determined to resist (“blood, sweat and tears”) and which finally won, thanks among other things to a technological innovation (radar) and to the decisive American support, which he negotiated in several interviews with Franklin D. Roosevelt (Letter from the Atlantic, August 14, 1941).

In 1941, the strategic need to occupy the Caucasus oil fields prompted Germany to invade the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa), initially successful, but which stalled in the Battle of Moscow and the sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad. At the same time, Japan, in its Asian expansion campaign and in revenge for the economic embargo the U.S. government had imposed on them, attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; the aggression precipitated the entry of the United States into the war. A few months later, the Battle of Midway (July 1942) marked a turning point in the Pacific war as Japanese combat capability was weakened against the Americans. In North Africa, the British stopped the advance of the German Afrika Korps from Libya towards Egypt in the battle of El Alamein (1942), after the Italian invasion of the Suez Canal (1940).

The final period of the war was characterized by the complex operations necessary for the Allied landings in Europe (Sicily in July 1943, Anzio in January 1944, Normandy in June 1944, Normandy in June 1944); Normandy in June 1944) and by the collapse of the eastern front, where the fiercest tank operations in history were fought (Battle of Kursk, especially at Prokhorovka, July 1943), while on the western front the Germans experimented with technologically highly developed weapons (V-1 and V-2 missiles) and endured destructive bombardment of their cities on a scale never seen before (bombing of Dresden in February 1945) and the total destruction of their capital (battle of Berlin between April and May 1945).

On the Pacific front, the Americans had to dislodge the Japanese island by island, both in the South Pacific (Guadalcanal, in August 1942) and in the Philippines (Manila, in February 1945); after fighting the largest naval battles in history (Battle of the Coral Sea, in May 1942; Battle of Leyte Gulf, in October 1944), they reached Japanese lands (Iwo Jima, in February 1945 and Okinawa, in April 1945). In August 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered the bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the newly invented nuclear weapons. The devastation caused by the attack, which would eventually claim the lives of 250,000 people, precipitated Japan’s capitulation.

Unlike in World War I, the surrender (both Japanese and German) was by unconditional defeat, without any negotiations. The decisive talks were those on the division of Europe into zones of influence among the Allies, which were negotiated at successive summits (the Teheran Conference on December 1, 1943; the Yalta Conference in February 1945; and the Potsdam Conference in July 1945).

The Second World War altered political relations and the social structure of the world. After the conflagration, the United Nations was founded to promote international cooperation and prevent potential conflicts. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. At the same time, the influence of the great European powers declined, as the decolonization of Asia and Africa began. Most of the countries whose industries had been damaged tackled economic recovery with financial aid from the American country (Marshall Plan), while political integration emerged as an effort to establish post-war relations.


WW2 US Army Discharge Papers hold immense historical significance, providing a glimpse into the experiences of American soldiers during World War II. Deciphering the various codes used in these documents allows us to reconstruct a soldier’s military career, understand their specialized roles, and gain insight into their separation from the military. By studying and deciphering these discharge papers, we can honor the service and sacrifice of those who fought in the war and gain a deeper appreciation for their contributions to our nation’s history.


How do I find out where someone served in World War 2?

You can find veterans’ military service records from World War I to the present from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The NPRC houses many types of records, including Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF).

To find out if they have any information on your veteran, call them at 800-827-1000. If the Department of Veteran Affairs does not have any information you can try contacting the Veteran Affairs Insurance Center at 800-669-8477.

How can I find out what type of discharge I received from the military?

You can request your military records in any of these ways:

  1. Mail or fax a Request Pertaining to Military Records (Standard Form SF 180) to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
  2. Write a letter to the NPRC.
  3. Visit the NPRC in person.
  4. Contact your state or county Veterans agency.
  5. Hire an independent researcher.


How do you find family members who fought in ww2 for free?

To find out if they have any information on your veteran, call them at 800-827-1000. If the Department of Veteran Affairs does not have any information you can try contacting the Veteran Affairs Insurance Center at 800-669-8477.

What is a discharge SEC II AR 615 360?

Enlisted men are discharged from the service because of physical. or mental defects under one of three Sections of AR 615-360, Section II discharges, commonly referred to as disability dis- charges, are granted to enlisted men upon order of a certificate of.

What are the 5 types of discharge?

In general, there are five different types of discharges from the Army: Honorable; General, Under Honorable Conditions; Under Other than Honorable Conditions; Bad Conduct; and Dishonorable.

What are the military discharge codes?

There are 6 types of “discharge of character” listed on military discharges: (1)”Honorable” or “Under honorable conditions”, (2) “General under Honorable Conditions”, (3) “Other than Honorable” (OTH), (4) “Bad Conduct” (BCD), (5) “Dishonorable” (DD), (6) “Entry Level (ELS) or Non-Characterized ” The DD 214 must have a

Can you look up military records for free?

Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical record information provided to veterans, next of kin and authorized representatives from Federal (non-archival) records. Some companies advertise DD Form 214 research services and will charge a fee for obtaining copies.

How do I find out where my grandfather served in WW2?

Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA’s National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. You can also fax the form to 314-801-9195. Veterans and their next of kin can also use eVetRecs to request records.

How do I trace WW2 Army records?

How do I Find World War 2 Records? To get started with searching for World War Two records, the best place to start is the CWGC casualty database. This contains commemoration details about every identified WW2 casualty, and can give you a lot of additional information, such as rank, regiment and honours.

What was an ASR score in WWII?

The United States Army used the Adjusted Service Rating (ASR) score during the World War II demobilization effort. Also called the WWII point system, it was designed to return troops back to the U.S. based on the length of time served, family status and honors received in battle.

Is a Section 8 discharge dishonorable?

Because Section Eight was not an Honorable Discharge from the Army, the people who received them faced consequences. The stigma associated with the blue slip of paper made it difficult for Section Eight soldiers to find jobs following discharge. They could not use the G.I.

How many points was a discharge in ww2?

The point threshold for a soldier to return to the United States was also lowered from 85 to 50 points by the end of the year. On September 6, 1945, just four days after Japan surrendered, Fleet Admiral Ernest J.

How do I look up someone’s military record?

Please use the Defense Manpower Data Center’s (DMDC) Military Verification service to verify if someone is in the military. The website will tell you if the person is currently serving in the military. The site is available 24-hours a day.

Can you look up dishonorable discharges?

Discharge status ranges from honorable – this covers most veterans – to bad conduct and dishonorable discharges, which can indicate serious problems. The simplest way to find out discharge status is to ask a prospective employee for their military discharge records.

Can I look up someone in the military?

Find Active Duty Military Personnel. The quickest way to find someone in the military is to visit the official Servicemembers Civil Relief Act website. The form can be used to request a certificate that verifies active duty status on a specified date.

How can I find my dad’s military photo?

The most likely source for images would be the Soldiers’ Individual Service Records file. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is the official repository for such records.


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