As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel in St. Louis at the 90th Division Association reunion. I’m looking through binder after binder of information. Morning Reports. Medical Journals kept by unit surgeons. Personnel records. A Chaplain’s diary (unpublished.) Photographs. Maps. And I’m not finished. The researcher I use at the National Personnel Records Center, Norm Richards, keeps bringing more stuff to my table.
One item that is very interesting is a medical journal kept by a unit doctor who noted every soldier he saw for a period of roughly six months in 1944 starting on June 9, 1944. The records are so good you can refer to the Morning Reports to see the soldier’s name in the report and his disposition. Take a peek at the journal entry below and note the first soldier entered on June 9, 1944, Thibodeau, Lewis R. Serial No. 31221675, Private, Co A 358 Inf. Diagnosis KIA GSWL Chest (Killed in Action Gun shot wound left chest), Treatment Morphine W. Dressed (W = wound) and Disp (Disposition) Died. Then look at the Morning Report for June 9, 1944 that shows Thibodeau as KIA.
Morning Reports, as I have discussed before on my blog and in my book Stories from the Battlefield: A Beginning Guide to World War II Research, still survive at the NPRC in St. Louis. Form 180 will not get you access to them however. You must hire a researcher or visit in person to search them. These medical journals are often held privately and were unpublished. This is one example of a journal that survived and the 90th Division Association has a copy for their archives. These unpublished records are one reason you should join military associations and attend their reunions. You never know what you will discover.