A place for Quattrones, Betteridges, and Praticos to share our family stories, history, and heritage.
Recently, my mom requested the military service records for her father, John Brancato. The National Archives informed her that his service records were among those lost in a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO. However, the National Archives was able to replace my grandfather’s awards and decorations from WWII (clockwise from top left):
Between 16-18 military service records were destroyed in the 1973 fire. No microfilm or computerized backup existed for those records at the time.
Even our photographs help us piece together his military experience. The patch on his sleeve stands for Technician 5th Grade or a Tech 5. He was an Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) and ranked just below a Corporal. Men in combat units could be given Tech ranks as a temporary rank either as a probationary period or while waiting for a Hard Stripe slot to become open.
We know he served in the Aleutian Islands in the Pacific.
I am wondering if anyone else knows little pieces of his military story?
I am also wondering if anyone has ever reached out to the National Archives for the compiled personnel records of other family members. If you haven’t, you can start here if you are interested: Military Service Records.
Time to start shopping for a medal display…