Recently, I had someone pose a question which stumped me. This person had a family member who was killed by accident aboard ship while serving in the US Navy circa late 1950s and he asked me whether the Navy would have issued some sort of death certificate. I didn't know and could only suggest that he attempt to obtain the individual's service file. I assume that the file will contain the particulars concerning the person's death. That got me to thinking, is there such a thing as a military death certificate? If so, do all branches of the military follow the same procedure and use the same form? Would the procedure vary as to a combat death as opposed to an accidental death during peacetime? Also, if say, an individual died of a natural or accidental cause while in the military ON a military base, would the death be reported to the state where the base was located? Or would that depend upon the state or is it that military installations are exempt from the states' requirements? What about foreign US military bases, would the death be reported to foreign authorities?
Personally, I have not researched military records post-WWI but my gut instinct tells me that the person's service record, if extant, would contain as much detail as any death certificate plus a great deal more... so why settle for just a military death certificate, if there is such an animal? Just curious, maybe some folks on this board can elaborate.