Individual Deceased Personnel Files
The Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) is a record of the handling and ultimate disposition of the remains of individuals who died in service. If you're researching someone who died in service during World War II, the IDPF can be a valuable source of information. The following is one of the methods I've developed and used over forty-odd years of conducting geneological and military history research:
1.Begin with one twenty-cent post card (I use the ones available at the post office) and address it to:
Total Army Personnel Command
Alexandria, VA 22231-0482
2. On the reverse (message field) write: "I would like a copy of the IDPF of (name & service number) who died (date of death) during WWII." (I set my left & right margins and type this in. You might include a date of birth, especially if your subject has a common name like Smith, Williams, etc. Also, if you got your subject's service number from the ABMC website < http://www.americanwardead.com/searchww.htmhttp://www.americanwardead.com/searchww.htm > you'll want to double-check or forego using it altogether as many of those listed are incorrect. If you include a service number, Army and air force service numbers are officially expressed in millions thusly: 0 000 000 or 00 000 000.)
3. Sign your name and drop it in the mail.
In a month or so, you'll receive a form letter acknowledging receipt of your request. You'll receive the file - if they can locate it - in two to six months, depending on their workload.