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USAAF Serial Numbers?

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Niall Mor
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2007/10/27 13:45:49 (permalink)
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USAAF Serial Numbers?

Hello!

I am a first-time poster to this site, and an absolute newbie at this kind of research. Could someone please give me information on finding and identifying USAAF serial numbers? I'm doing research on my late father, William Stewart Leslie, who served with the 9th Air Force in Europe. I believe he flew P-51s. That's about all I know for sure. Using advice from this site, I searched the Army Enlistment Records database at the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) site run by National Archives And Records Administration. I found a record with an "Army Serial Number" that I believe refers to Dad. I used that number when I submitted an information request to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. Later, I talked with one of my brothers, who surprised me by saying he had a set of Dad's dog tags. The numbers on the tag don't match the numbers on the enlistment record. Which one of these numbers (if either) is, or could be, my Dad's actual serial number? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Neil Leslie
(niallmor@earthlink.net)
jj463rd
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/27 13:50:11 (permalink)
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Sorry I had posted a site which listed the serial numbers of aircraft in the USAAF.
Niall Mor
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/27 14:08:18 (permalink)
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Jonathan,

Thanks for the link. I've bookmarked the site, and it may come in handy later. What I'm looking for at the moment, however, is my Dad's personal serial number and not the serial number of the aircraft he might have flown. Thanks again for all your help, however.

Niall Mor
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/27 14:14:42 (permalink)
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Neil,
Your dad would of had two different serial numbers. when he first went into the service and when he became an officer. The Dog Tags should have the numbers precedid by an O, this signified officer. 

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SHAEF1944
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/27 14:14:59 (permalink)
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Niall, 2 possibilities on the numbers.  One, could be two different guys with the same name. Second, and more likely, is your dad had one serial number when he enlisted as an aviation cadet, and then was assigned a different S/N when he graduated flight school and became an officer.

SHAEF1944
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/27 14:20:30 (permalink)
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Here is a link about the 9th air force.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Air_Force#Ninth_Air_Force_Units_During_World_War_II
 
You can see the Fighter Groups at the bottom of the list
Sorry about the mixup.
Niall Mor
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/27 16:00:08 (permalink)
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I want to thank everyone who responded so promptly and graciously to my queries. In just a few minutes you gave me an answer to my question and pointed me in a new direction for research. You folks are the best! Thanks a lot!

Neil Leslie
aka Niall Mor
(niallmor@earthlink.net)
swissmustangs
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/29 07:50:00 (permalink)
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Hi, your father is recorded to have been involved in an accident during stateside training as follows:

William S. Leslie; 25th October 1943; based at Camp Campbell, KY; accident in P-51 41-37323, 7 miles NW Scottsville, KY...

cordially,
Martin
Niall Mor
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/29 20:05:03 (permalink)
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ORIGINAL: swissmustangs


Hi, your father is recorded to have been involved in an accident during stateside training as follows:

William S. Leslie; 25th October 1943; based at Camp Campbell, KY; accident in P-51 41-37323, 7 miles NW Scottsville, KY...

cordially,
Martin


Martin,

This confirms what my brother had told me about Dad's wartime service. We believed that Dad had been in a training accident, but we didn't know the date. Where did you find confirmation? Is it recorded in some official source? I'd be grateful if you let me know.

Best regards,
Neil
Anthony J. Mireles
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/29 20:24:19 (permalink)
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Information for this mishap can be found on Craig Fuller's fabulous AAF air crash index on the Aviatiaon Archaeology Investigation and Research (AAIR) website.  The AAF Form # 14 Aircraft Accident Report for this mishap can be found on AAF Aircraft Accident Report Microfilm Call # 46273, October 25, 1943.  The report can be ordered from AAIR for a fee or from the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama.  Good Luck with your research.  TonyM. 
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/29 22:39:09 (permalink)
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Took a look at the Accident Report.  The report indicates that the airplane suffered an engine failure because of a carb ice problem that became unrecoverable.  The pilot had to perform a forced landing.  The report includes a pilot statement and eight photos of the crashed airplane.  Good Luck with your research.  TonyM. 
Niall Mor
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/30 13:03:45 (permalink)
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ORIGINAL: Anthony J. Mireles

Took a look at the Accident Report. The report indicates that the airplane suffered an engine failure because of a carb ice problem that became unrecoverable. The pilot had to perform a forced landing. The report includes a pilot statement and eight photos of the crashed airplane. Good Luck with your research. TonyM.


Tony M.,

Thanks so much for this information! I searched the AAIR database last night by the pilot's name, "Leslie William S." and it appears my Dad may have been involved in not one, but two accidents at Fort Campbell a few months apart. Either there were two William S. Leslies in training at Fort Campbell at the same time (possible, but not sure how likely this is) or my Dad had a run of bad luck (poor guy!)

Thanks again for the information!
Best regards,
Neil
(niallmor@earthlink.net)
Niall Mor
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/10/31 12:14:41 (permalink)
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Hello everyone!

This post is related to my earlier posts on the confusion over my Dad's serial number(s), but it goes in a slightly different direction, so I may start a new thread on this topic. When I was talking with one of my brothers about this, he mentioned a possibility I hadn't considered: the serial numbers may be from two different wars. After WWII, my Dad stayed in the reserves and was reactivated when the Korean War started. If USAAF vets who were reservists also served in the Korean Conflict, would the Army (or Air Force) have given them new serial numbers, or would they have kept their old USAAF serial numbers?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Sincerely,
Neil Leslie
(niallmor@earthlink.net)
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RE: USAAF Serial Numbers? 2007/11/03 13:10:38 (permalink)
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I believe that when the USAF started its own serial number system, it kept the numerical part of the Army serial number for officers.  Regular AF officers had an "A" added to the end of their numbers (which did not exceed 5 digits) and Reserve officers had an "AO" added at the beginning of their numbers (which were 6 or 7 digits).  In the early 1960s, this was changed to "FR" for regulars and "FV" for reservists -- both at the beginning of the number, and the series were combined.

Enlisted men had numbers prefixed by "AF" but I don't know if they kept the numbers they had in the Army.

Bernie Shearon
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