Source of Records

Title: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947, documenting the period 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946
Creator: War Department. Adjutant General's Office. (3/4/1907 - 9/18/1947). (Most Recent)
Type of Archival Materials: Data Files
Textual Records
Level of Description: Series from Record Group 389: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General
Other Titles: W.D. A.G.O. FORM NO. 0326
Location: NWME Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 (phone) 301-837-0470 (fax) 301-837-3681 (e-mail)
Inclusive Dates: 1942 - 1947
Coverage Dates: 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946
Date Note: December 7, 1941 to November 19, 1946 are the earliest and latest report dates in the records. The 1942 to 1947 dates indicate the time period when the Adjutant General's Office created and maintained the database.
Part of: Record Group 389: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General
Function and Use: Using copies of reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the agency produced records on U.S. military and civilian prisoners of war and internees, as well as for some Allied internees. The agency used these records to generate monthly reports.
Scope & Content Note: This series has information about U.S. military officers and soldiers and U.S. and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war and internees. The record for each prisoner provides serial number, personal name, branch of service or civilian status, grade, date reported, race, state of residence, type of organization, parent unit number and type, place of capture (theater of war), source of report, status, detaining power, and prisoner of war or civilian internee camp site. Records of prisoners of the Japanese who died also document whether the prisoner was on a Japanese ship that sank or if he or she died during transport from the Philippine Islands to Japan. There are no records for some prisoners of war whose names appear in the lists or cables transmitted to the Office of the Provost Marshal General by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted
General Note: The other title, "W.D.A.G.O. FORM NO. 0326," was printed on each punch card. It is the form number that the War Department used to reference this series.
The punch card records were transferred to NARA with virtually no agency documentation. NARA staff constructed documentation from paper records in the Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal (RG 389) and the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (RG 407).
Additional information about the Adjutant General's Office, Machine Records Units and the coding of the POW cards may be found in Lee A. Gladwin, "Top Secret: Recovering and Breaking the US Army and Army Air Force Order of Battle Codes, 1941-1945," in PROLOGUE (Fall, 2000) and "American POWs on Japanese Ships Take a Voyage into Hell," in PROLOGUE (Winter, 2003).
Finding Aid Type: Technical Information
Finding Aid Source: NARA and Adjutant General's Office
Finding Aid Note: The documentation package contains 145 pages.
Extent: 1 data file and 1 page of agency documentation
Index Terms
  Subjects Represented in the Archival Material
    Armed forces officers
Names, Personal
Prisoners of war
World War, 1939-1945
    Japan (Asia) nation
Philippines (Asia) nation
  Contributors to the Authorship and/or Production of the Archival Materials
    International Committee of the Red Cross, Originator
Custodial History Note: The U.S. Army transferred punch card records of World War II prisoners of war (POWs) to NARA as a unique series in its 1959 transfer of all of the U.S. Army's Departmental Archives. In 1978 the Veterans Administration borrowed most of the punch card records of repatriated U.S. military personnel for a study of Repatriated U.S. Military Prisoners of War, migrated the data on almost all of the borrowed cards to an electronic format and returned the punch cards and two electronic records data files to NARA. In 1995 NARA migrated the data from almost all of the remaining punch card records to an electronic format and has subsequently preserved all of the records in a single data file.