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Finding Missing Persons in the United States

Finding Missing Persons in the United States

It is difficult to trace someone in the United States when their whereabouts are completely unknown, as there are no central records of names and addresses available to the public.  For those trying to locate former colleagues, friends, or relatives, the following information may be of assistance.  It is NOT possible to trace the whereabouts of persons through U.S. immigration channels.  Records of the U.S. Government are protected by the Privacy Act and cannot be divulged to third parties.  

This list is provided by the U.S. Embassy as a convenience to U.S. citizens.  It is not meant to be a complete list of possible resources.  The Embassy assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or facilities listed.  Fees and services to be provided are a matter for agreement solely between the individual and the organization.

Tracing Military Personnel

Active Duty Military Personnel:  The Embassy maintains no records on active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Written requests for assistance in locating information on military personnel currently serving may be sent to the appropriate office listed below:

Air Force Worldwide Locator:  HQ AFPC/DPDXIDL, 550 C Street W, Suite 50,
Randolph Air Force Base, TX 78150-4752, Tel: (210) 565-2660

Army Worldwide Locator:  Commander, U.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation Center, Attn: Locator, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301

Navy Worldwide Locator:  Naval Personnel Command, PERS 312F, 5720 Integrity Drive, Millington, TN 38055-3120

Marine Corps Worldwide Locator:  Commandant of the Marine Corps, HQ, USMC, Code MMSB-10, Quantico, VA 22134-5030

Coast Guard Locator:  Coast Guard Personnel Command (CGPC-adm-3), 2100 2nd Street SW, Washington, DC 20593-0001

These offices may be able to provide a current address, and in some instances will attempt to forward correspondence to the individual’s military base/unit. A nominal fee may be charged for this service.

Former Military Personnel:  The Embassy maintains no records on former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  All official military personnel files of discharged and deceased veterans are kept in the United States at the National Personnel Records Center (NRPC).  Requests for information on former service members must be directed, in writing, to that agency. 

Send your request to: National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100; Tel: 314-801-0800.

A brief notice placed in military and related magazines reaches a wide audience and may well come to the attention of the individual you are looking for, or a former member of the same unit.  As well as individual veterans’ associations’ publications, letters are published in the following large-circulation newspapers and magazines:

Army/Navy/Air Force Times:  Locator Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159-0500

Air Force Magazine:  Bulletin Board, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1198

American Legion Magazine:  700 N Pennsylvania Street, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206

The Retired Officer Magazine
:  201 N Washington Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314-2539

The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will attempt to forward correspondence to missing persons, but only when a considerable monetary or strong humanitarian consideration is involved.  You should send a letter intended for the missing person, along with a brief letter of explanation, to the appropriate agency.   The addresses are:

Social Security Administration            Department of Veterans Affairs
    Office of Public Inquiries               810 Vermont Avenue, NW
    Windsor Park Building                   Washington, DC 20420
    6401 Security Blvd.                     Tel: 1-800-273-TALK
    Baltimore, MD 21235
    Tel: 800-772-1213            

SSA charges a $3.00 fee; an International Money Order in dollars should be enclosed and made payable to the Social Security Administration.  SSA is unable to report whether or not the letter is actually delivered.

Private Organizations

TRACE (Transatlantic Children’s Enterprise)
Heron’s Flight, 1H Bycullah Road, Enfield EN2 8EE (Send SAE),

Kith & Kin Tracing,
Green Gables, Willow Grove, Fair Oak, Eastleigh, Hants SO5 7BJ, Tel: 023-8069-2421

Ariel Bruce Associates, Independent Social Workers,
24 Stanley Street, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 2DS, Tel: 023-9261-4583

War Babes,
15 Plough Avenue, South Woodgate, Birmingham B32 3TQ, Tel: 012-1608-5108 (Send SAE)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:
At Family History Centers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, usually located within Latter-Day Saint churches, you can find, or obtain, census returns, wills, church records, etc., from most parts of the world.  In addition, you can consult the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and the Ancestral File.  For a full list of Family History Centers, contact:  The Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84150; Tel: 801-240-2584.

British Red Cross,
Tracing & Messages Section, International Welfare Department, 9 Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X 7EJ, Tel: 084-4871-1111

Salvation Army HQ,
Family Tracing Service, 101 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BN, Tel: 020-7367-4500,

Adoptees Liberty Movement,
P.O. Box 85, Denville, NJ 07834, email: