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Old 30th March 2011, 17:28
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Missing Aircrew Reports -The Full Story

Found this on the Web and thought some folks would like to understand how the report evolved, along with some of the controversies

1) Fully 30-40% of casualties were not reported on MACRs.

2) Over 100 files were taken from the archives and never returned

Comments, anyone?

M1380 MISSING AIR CREW REPORTS (MACRs) OF THE U.S. ARMY AIR FORCES, 1942–1947 National Archives and Records Administration Washington, DC 2005 INTRODUCTION On the 5,992 fiche comprising this microfiche publication, M1380, are reproduced more than 16,605 case files of Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) and related records of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1942–47. These reports are part of the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group (RG) 92. BACKGROUND At the time of U.S. entry into World War II, Army Regulation (AR) 600-550, issued March 6, 1936, governed the reporting of battle casualties in that branch of the service, and it required no information other than that a soldier had been killed, wounded, or was missing in action. In August 1942, this AR was revised to require the addition of a soldier’s military status, including flight status. In October 1942, the Statistical Control Division, Office of Management Control, Headquarters, Army Air Forces (AAF), undertook a seven-month study of the methods employed by the Army Air Service after World War I to determine the fate of airmen reported missing in action during that conflict. The study also reviewed the sources of information then available to the AAF on the subject of missing airmen. Concluding that these methods and sources were inadequate, the AAF recommended in May 1943 the adoption of a special form, the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR), devised primarily to record the salient facts of the last known circumstances regarding missing air crews. The MACR would also provide a means of integrating current data with information obtained later from other sources in an effort to conclusively determine the fate of the missing personnel. The War Department approved the recommendation, and, on May 23, 1943, Army Air Forces casualties became a separate category. From June 11, 1943, through V-J Day (August 15, 1945), the Department required that a Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) be filed within 48 hours of the time an Army Air Forces plane (and occupants) was officially declared destroyed or missing in action.1 The commanding officer of the last station from which an army aircraft departed determined its loss2 and reported it by radio to the Adjutant General. As soon as possible thereafter, a written MACR containing the same information as the oral report was to be sent. The reports were often sent in batches of as many as 25 by the preparing unit. They were to be forwarded through official channels to the Statistical Control Division (later the Notification 1 In addition, MACRs for army aircraft lost before June 11, 1943, and also for unreported or improperly reported losses after that date, were compiled as part of a War Department action to recover any missing remains of service personnel. Because this action began shortly after V-E Day, some of these compiled MACRs are intermingled with the MACRs coming in during the last months of the war, although most were filed after V-J Day. 2 If the aircraft was assigned to arrive at a station other than the departing station, the latter would be notified if a plane failed to arrive. 1 Section of the Casualty Branch), Headquarters, AAF, which served as the central collection point for the MACRs throughout World War II. Under War Department Circular 195, the commanding officer of the last station of departure also coordinated a search for an aircraft reported lost and submitted a report of findings to the Adjutant General. These reports stated whether individual occupants of the aircraft should be continued in a missing status or reported as dead and gave details attending the circumstances and extent of the search. In late 1946, the function of collecting MACRs was transferred to the Identification Branch of the Memorial Division, Office of the Quartermaster General. The MACR proved invaluable in connection with the search, recovery, and identification phases of the Quartermaster Department’s efforts to achieve a final disposition of all overseas World War II remains. AAF organizations continued to prepare and submit MACRs to the end of 1947; these postwar reports were turned over to the Memorial Division in January 1949. Not all MACRs submitted were from AAF units reporting missing aircraft. After the war, the clerical staff of the Quartermaster Memorial Division sometimes used information available in other records to prepare MACRs for inclusion in case files that lacked them. More often, this staff established additional case files as a result of inquiries received from military sources or from the relatives of airmen who had been lost in the war and whose ultimate fate remained unknown. In preparing these additional files, the clerks usually based the MACRs on information received from the Casualty Branch of the Adjutant General’s Office or from the AAF itself. Some of these postwar MACRs document losses of aircraft sustained in 1942 and early 1943, before the issuance of the May 1943 directive. Between 30 and 40 percent of all incidents even after the May 1943 directive were not reported through filing an MACR. RECORDS DESCRIPTION The MACR case files are arranged numerically in the single sequence 1–16708 and have been filmed in that order with up to three case files per fiche. Each MACR was assigned a control number in sequence when received and then filed in numerical order as the first of the documents relating to the loss were reported. The search report was added when received. There are irregularities and gaps in the sequence, reflecting inadvertent duplication of some numbers (45a, 45b, 45c, for example) and the omission of others. About 100 case files are missing, most of them within the 15000–16708 range. They were removed from the series in the 1940s by the staffs of the records custodial units and never returned. In a few instances, a copy of the MACR was put into the individual casualty case file ("293 file") of the deceased individual. At the same time that the file was numbered, a name card was made for each occupant reported on the MACR and then filed alphabetically. They serve as a name-card index to the numerical MACR files. 2 The basic document in each case file is the MACR form (AFPPA-14) itself, although a surprising number do not contain a copy of this report form. Information on the MACR depended on the status of the individual (military personnel or civilian). For military personnel, this information covers their full names, grades, army service numbers, organizations, and home stations. For civilians, if any, this information covers their full names, positions, and employers. For the aircraft, it covers the date and hours the plane was lost and that it is classified by the command- ing officer as lost. Also required on the MACR is a statement that the emergency addressee of each occupant has been notified or that the home station commander has been requested to make such notification. Some reports include the name(s) of person(s) with some last knowledge of the aircraft. Few MACRs contain all of this information, especially those prepared in 1943 and 1947. In addition to the MACR form, many case files include one or more other kinds of documents. Often present is an "Individual Casualty Questionnaire" (AFPPA-11) completed by a witness to the loss of a single crew member. After listing the name, rank, serial number, and crew position of the casualty, and the number, date, and destination of the mission, the respondent, who was not a crew member himself, indicated when and where the casualty bailed out of the plane and where he was last seen. The respondent was instructed to indicate the source of his information and to offer any explanation he might have of the casualty’s fate. Another kind of document found in many case files is the "Casualty Questionnaire" (AFPPA-12), which, unlike the "Individual Casualty Questionnaire," was completed by a member of the crew who had survived the crash/loss of the aircraft and who responded to questions concerning the flight itself and all the remaining members of the crew. Many files also contain at least one "statement," a brief narrative account of the occurrence, signed by a member of the crew or an eyewitness to the crash. Occasionally, the case files include aerial photographs of the crash site and of the aircraft, annotated maps of the flight pattern and the location of the crash, and related correspondence. Documenting losses of aircraft over German-occupied Europe often include German documents, mostly Luftgaukommando reports, captured at the close of World War II or English translations of extracts from these documents. These records often indicate which, if any, crew members survived and the place of their incarceration. In addition, the burial location of dead airmen is sometimes given. There are 25 additional fiche (Fiche Nos. 5970–5990-4) at the end of the microfiche publication. Sixteen fiche are arranged chronologically by date of crash and contain information about air crashes with references to pertinent captured German records, mostly Luftgaukommando reports. The remaining nine fiche include a battle casualty report of the XXI Bomber Command for January 1945; a listing of zones, types, models, and series of aircraft; rosters of Army Air Force casualties, and of airplane crashes by type, model, and series; miscellaneous correspondence; and a listing of aircraft crashes from January to November 1947. 3 RELATED RECORDS A name index to the MACRs is available on microfilm as National Archives Microfilm Publication M1420, Name Index to the Missing Air Crew Reports of the United States Army Air Forces, 1942–1947. Researchers interested in searching further for information regarding missing air crews may also check related records in the central decimal file and in the World War II Combat Mission Reports of the Records of the Army Air Forces, RG 18; in the German prisoner-of-war files (Luftgaukommando) in the National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1941– , RG 242; in the listings of American prisoners-of-war in the Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, 1941– , RG 389; and in the central decimal file in the World War II operation reports, and in Strength and Accounting Branch printouts of U.S. military personnel captured by the enemy found in Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917– , RG 407. Occasional references to missing air crews may also be found in many records in other record groups relating to World War II and to the immediate postwar period. These include Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army), RG 153; Records of United States Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 260; Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; and Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, United States Army (World War II), RG.
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Old 30th March 2011, 18:59
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Re: Missing Aircrew Reports -The Full Story

(1) I thought MACRs were only for "missing", i.e. no body found or no known grave (at least at the time the report was filed). There would of course be a lot of casualties then without a MACR.

(2) The same things happen in archives all over the world. Hard for me to understand, but it is a fact.
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Old 31st March 2011, 02:19
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Missing Aircrew Reports -The Full Story

The MACR were designed for combat losses,i.e., an aircraft tht failed to return from operations. If a plane crashed on base or "friendly" territory, then no MACR was generated.
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Old 31st March 2011, 14:54
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Missing Aircrew Reports -The Full Story

1) Kaki, a MACR was just what his name indicates: a Missing Air Crew Report.

MACR were issued for aircraft lost far away from any combat zone, like for example heavy bombers disappearing during a ferry flight from USA to Africa via South America.

On the other hand, all combat losses will not generate a MACR. An US fighter hit by Flak or enemy aircraft and which pilot bailed out over his own lines or even crashed to death into own lines will not have a MACR. In the Pacific a pilot or crew picked up by a Dumbo floatplane, even deep inside enemy territory, won't need a MACR either.

MACR were never designed to list aircraft or even aircrew losses, they were designated to gather all documentation about aircraft having gone missing, to try to find their place and loss and to identify them or the wreck if it was lost.

2) Sadly for us in all archives around the world files will disappear, decay or be stolen. I hope that numerization will help both to preserve the existing archives from further degradation, and to protect it to the bigger hazards.... like fire... or an administrative decision to dump all "these old papers".
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