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Can anyone help me identify my paternal grandfather's uniform? I never knew him and he died when my father was 8 years old and my father has passed too. No living family members who can tell me if he served. He was born 13 DEC 1905. He died on 14 AUG 1942 (not military related). Born and lived in Franklin, TN and is buried there (no military info on headstone)

monochrome picture of man in uniform

enter image description here

I don't have addition information about him. I know he was a 'day laborer' when he died (killed in an accident in Illinois(a got a copy of the death certificate). No living family members who could tell me anything. Just took a shot in the dark with StackExchange. My father was in the Air Force in Korea and it sort of looks a lot like his uniform.

Bottom photo is my Father. Top photo is his father(my paternal grandfather). I only included the photo of my father (who served in the Air Force in Korea) because the uniforms look similar.

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    1930 census has Cecil living with his father, occupation truck driver, Not a veteran by that point. So if he enlisted it was after 1930. – justCal Sep 16 at 3:13
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    Lack of verbose visual description: close. Blind and search engines. – Samuel Russell Sep 16 at 8:21
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    A better photo would be a big help here. At this resolution it could be a bus driver uniform for all I can see. – AllInOne Sep 16 at 19:00
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    I appreciate everyones effort here. And, I apologize for the pictures lack of resolution. But, I dont have addition information about him. I know he was a 'day laborer' when he died (killed in an accident in illinois(a got a copy of the death certificate). No living family members who could tell me anything. Just took a shot in the dark with StackExchange. My father was in the Air Force in Korea and it sort of looks alot like his uniform. – drobinson85 Sep 17 at 23:22
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    @drobinson85 Please edit your question to include any relevant information, instead of replying in comments Is the added photo also supposed to be of your grandfather, or is that a picture of your father in his Korean war Air Force uniform added for comparison? – justCal Sep 18 at 16:16
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At Fold3 (possibly accessible via your local public library), in the WWII Draft Registration Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 collection there is what looks like a card for him, but it is not filled out properly. The address is "Peach Orchard, Pemiscot, Missouri" but the back side of the card is stamped "Selective Service System, Local Board No. 1, Williamson County, Franklin, Tennessee."

On the front of the card is handwritten "Form 200 received 3/27/41. Employer's name is "Local Board Pemiscot County" and place of employment is "Caruthersville, Mo."

Written on the card in a different handwriting and pen(cil) is "Dead Aug 17, 1942."

Caruthersville, Missouri, is almost due west of Franklin, just on the other side of the Mississippi River.

If you want to get his records, USA.gov says:

You can find veterans’ military service records from World War I to the present from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). You can call NPRC at 1-314-801-0800 or by mail at:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

The NPRC houses many types of records, including Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF). These files can include the Report of Separation (DD Form 214) and show a veteran’s service history, which may include:

  • Enlistment or appointment and separation dates
  • Duty stations and assignments
  • Training and qualifications
  • Awards
  • Disciplinary actions
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In the first photograph, I believe this is a US Army service uniform; compare to the example jacket seen here. At this point, the Air Force was still a branch of the Army (it did not become an independent branch until after the war), so he could have been serving in either.

It is not really possible to tell anything else from the markings other than that he did not seem to have any rank badges, but that is not a surprise given his short period of service. The badge on his upper left sleeve might tell us something more - but it's too small to draw any conclusions from.

Given his age and the date of his death, and that he was apparently working as a civilian labourer when he died, I would guess that he enlisted in 1941 or early 1942, and was then discharged sometime in 1942? Even with his short service, and this limited information, it may be possible to obtain some records about him. NARA have a guide on tracing further information that might be useful.

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    Based on the edit comments, that second photo is not of the same person. – kuhl Sep 22 at 3:06
  • @kuhl oh, interesting, thanks - I hadn't spotted that! I had thought he looked a bit younger than 35 but assumed it was an effect of the colouring. Will update. – Andrew Sep 22 at 12:56

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