Finding the Answers in the Individual Deceased Personnel File

A self-paced online course.


One of the most powerful files for telling the stories of our honored war dead.

The Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) is one of the vital record sets you need if your World War II, Korea, or Vietnam service member, for any branch, died while in military service or is still Missing In Action (MIA).

In this course you will get a deep dive into the American Graves Registration Service history, the jobs they did, and the records they created. Each AGRS unit may also have additional records housed at the National Archives in College Park, MD, should you choose to take your research further. The same can be said for hospital units and the records they kept, should your service member's IDPF or other records which reconstruct their service, have a hospital unit in the paperwork. Sometimes you can find additional photographs, maps, and reports within these two unit collections. Understanding the AGRS roles in handling our war dead, their personal effects, temporary and permanent burial is an important part of every Soldier Dead's story.

This collection of records may provide you with service information, health information, family letters (and sometimes the drama of the family), vital records (birth, marriage, and death), mental hospital commitment papers, newspaper articles, and requests for information from family members.

You will also learn about personal effects, maps of where the service members were recovered, Missing AIr Crew Report papers (MACR), sometimes discover copies of other official history documents for the unit in which your service member served, details about the death or MIA status of the service member. No matter what branch of the military your service member was in, these files contain very similar papers and information. However, all files are not the same and some contain photos and details you will find nowhere else.

Are you ready to take a deep dive into these files? Your knowledge may also help someone else who is just starting their search!


Receive six (6) weeks of training on the work of the Graves Registration Service and the records they created.


Download 25+ files which include worksheets, Graves Registration Booklets, and IDPFs to help you reconstruct military service & understand the contents of the Individual Deceased Personnel File


Download case studies with IDPFs to help you see how valuable these records are & how they can help you tell your service member's story.


You're just a few steps away from learning how powerful the IDPFs are and how they can change the course of your research and the stories you tell.

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