to get my great grandfather's military service records. But I don't have a lot of information to even start from. I need your suggestions.
My great grandfather was stationed with an American Expeditionary Force in the Phillippines during World War I. I know he was in the Army. I know his birthdate. But the records request form wants to know his rank, whether and when he enlisted or was drafted, when he was discharged, etc., and I know none of these things. The only person who might
know would be his last living daughter, my great aunt, who is in her 90s, frail, and unlikely to remember this stuff now, even if she did know at one time.
Is there another, super-secret way to get at this kind of information? Databases, specialized libraries, anything at all? Has anyone had success getting a relative's service records without knowing all of the data requested on the form?
(FWIW, I do have an Ancestry.com account but have never found a WWI Draft Registration Card for him, which suggests to me that he enlisted, rather than was drafted, but I don't even know if that's right.)
I do see from this prior question
that some service records were lost in a fire
. So it's possible that his records don't exist any more. I'd still like to give it a shot though.