Monday, February 28, 2011

It Takes A Thief - Discharge Papers

 A while back, I wrote about breaking into the locked “safe” in my parents’ basement. Inside were numerous papers belonging to my grandparents. One of those items, I was particularly excited to discover was my grandfather's World War I discharge papers. Initially I thought they were the originals but upon closer examination I noticed they are a notarized copy. If you're familiar with the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center, you know that this is quite an exciting find.

The Enlistment Record portion expands on some of the details of my grandfather's service. This should help me verify information that I've pieced together from other sources and provide a more complete timeline. Down at the bottom in the notary area, it states that my grandfather has the original in his possession. I'm still hoping the original will turn up and have no doubt it might.

I also noticed Grandpa recorded his discharge papers with the Spokane County Auditor upon his return from the war.

I can see why Grandpa kept his discharge papers locked up and am thankful that he did.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum
Photo by Marcin Wichary


  1. I left active duty (Air Force) in 1979 and it was still common practice to have your DD Form 214 (discharge) recorded with the Clerk of the Court in the county where you lived. That way you had multiple sources for an "official" copy should you ever need it.

  2. What a great find! My grandfather, who also served in WWI, I have the Honorable Discharge, but, not the "real thing". So, I guess that means, I have discharge papers envy! LOL

  3. How thrilling! Where are you going to keep the papers now?

  4. Hi Scrappy,

    The papers have been merged into the Archival Closet sorting project. They are currently in their own archival folder, in a box for Richard Roos's papers in the military section.

    And on my hard drive. LOL