Hmmm…I realized today that I do not know much about my dad, Charles Marshall Smith’s, military service. I did find a few items on-line. The first was from the Army enlistment records at Fold3 <http://www.fold3.com/page/84706603_charles_m_smith>. The other was from the same records on the NARA website <http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=3&cat=all&tf=F&q=Charles+M+Smith+nebraska&bc=&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=1475173&rlst=1475173,7742209,>. However, I am confused. Both list an enlistment date of 2 April 1946 for the Panama Canal Department. I am almost positive that Dad enlisted earlier than that, I believe it was the spring of 1945 just before the end of World War II. He followed his older brothers, Jim, Bob, and George in the service.
So…I was able to order a copy of his discharge papers (DD-214) from the National Archives <www.archive.gov>. It will take awhile (the form says “up to 90 days”) to receive the information, so I will have to wait patiently. The DD-214 should give me all the information I need to then order his complete military file from NARA. I’ll keep you posted.