MSgt Eugene W. Perz

In the case of Eugene Perz, my Great Uncle, I have loads of gratitude for the AFHRA (Air Force historical Research Agency).

The AFHRA has an online searchable index of thousands of records within their holdings, many available by request.  I do not have the DD-214 in this case, but I did have the name of his Unit, which began as The First Mapping Group (also found to read as 1st Mapping Group). They were later reorganized as the 1st Photographic Group, The 1st Photographic Charting Squadron, then 1st Photo Reconnaissance Squadron.

Eugene was classified as a Flight Engineer as well as a Mechanic.  He was a crew chief for B-17s, B-24s and B-29s. I have been able to trace his service extensively with the help of the records I obtained from the AFHRA.  Once they respond to a records request, the AFHRA sends a secure link and password for where the PDF record can be downloaded.  The records are incredibly large, the one I’ve read almost fully is 1559 pages (A0861).  Also, sometimes records are very light or hard to read in certain sections, so this   requires time and patience, all well worth it.

The main record set I’ve used in Eugene’s research is the groups history, month to month starting in 1941.  I was able to find him in the rosters, able to see many places he was deployed to by finding his name included in movement orders, and I was able to see him rise in rank all the way up to a Master Sergeant.

Below are just a handful of pages where I found Eugene’s name within record A0861.  All images can be opened and magnified by a right click.

I submitted a request for Eugene’s records and after a lengthy wait of ten months, this is what I was supplied with.  This is 1/2 of his DD-214 which was obviously destroyed by the NARA fire.  This is why requesting  a veterans personnel file, can not be the only tool for conducting research.