Size: Less than one linear foot.
Copyright: Documents created by United States Government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interests in documents that do not fall into this category are presumed to remain with the authors of the documents or their heirs.
Processed by: C.W. Orhvall (1977).
Updated by: David Kreidler (2005) as part of the Truman Library Internship
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.
[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Administrative History | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]
Harry S. Truman enlisted for service in World War I with the National Guard and received his commission as a first lieutenant, Battery F, 2nd Field Artillery Regiment, Missouri National Guard, on June 22, 1917. On September 5, 1917, Truman’s regiment was called into federal service as the 129th Field Artillery Regiment. Truman was promoted to captain on April 23, 1918. He commanded Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery in France during the War. Truman was honorably discharged on May 6, 1919. He received his commission as a major in the Officers’ Reserve Corps in 1920. Truman remained an officer in the Field Artillery Reserve until he retired with the rank of colonel on January 31, 1953.
The Military Personnel File of Harry S. Truman (Record Group 407) at first went through the normal procedures of all military records. When Truman became President in 1945, his file was transferred to the Office of the Adjutant General, as was customary with the records of especially eminent officials. The file was later sent to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and then to the Harry S. Truman Library. In 2005, the Truman Library returned the original documents to the National Personnel Records Center, where they were stored with other military records of prominent Americans. The Library kept photocopies of the contents of the file.
The Records of the Adjutant General’s Office: Military Personnel File of Harry S. Truman (Record Group 407), contains correspondence, memoranda, cables, memos, military orders, evaluations, oaths, handwritten notes, medical records, pay vouchers, and a clipping from the Congressional Record documenting the military service of Colonel Truman. Truman served during World War I as a Field Artillery officer, and continued in the Organized Reserve Corps until he retired in 1953.
Documents contained herein detail various aspects of Harry S. Truman’s military career. The Awards File details the awards given to him by the United States. Pay vouchers, discharge orders, and an affidavit are contained within the Pay Records. The General Historical Files includes correspondence between Truman and Army officials over various subjects, evaluations made during his duty at the Reserve’s summer camps, requests from third parties seeking information on Truman’s military career, and documents concerning Truman’s retirement in 1953.
The majority of the collection is contained within the Service Files and the Medical Records. Included are documents detailing his promotion evaluations, an essay written by Truman concerning trajectory, oaths, military orders, press releases written by the Army about Truman’s career, and retirement documentation. The final two Service Files also incorporate documents created while Truman was a United States Senator (1935-1940) and as President (1947-1950). His medical history while with the Army is detailed in the Medical Records, which also contains documents pertaining to Truman’s stay at the Army and Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, while he was a U.S. Senator.
The General Historical File, 1918-1957, and two other folders contain copies of photoduplicated documents. In these cases, the original documents may no longer exist, or were subsequently damaged so that the photoduplicated version is more legible.
Folders are arranged in alphabetically by folder title. All of the documents in this collection are digitized and can be viewed by clicking the folder links below.