Replace WWII Medals
Through World War 2 and at the end of the War, the various American personnel who fought in the conflict were awarded various medals for their participation in the War. These awards range from ribbons or medals with accompanying ribbons that signify either an individual’s or a unit’s participation in various campaigns of the conflict (or in some cases just participation in the war). For a friend or family member who displayed exceptional heroism or had major accomplishments during the war, they may have also been awarded individual medals of varying level. A common question that arises today as we approach the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, is how to replace World War II medals if they have been lost or misplaced.
How to Replace World War II Medals?
Step 1 – First, try to determine you are allowed (or eligible) get the World War 2 medals replaced. If you did not participate in WW2, then the replacement medals have to be for a blood relative such as a father or moth (ie cousins, aunts, uncles, or in-laws are not entitle to replacement WW2 medals). The United States government defines next of kin as: a surviving spouse that has not remarried, a father, a mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister.
Step 2 – If you think you meet the eligibility requirements to request replacement medals, then visit the National Archives Military Service Records website. Once you are on the website, decide if you would like to make an online or snail mail application for the replacement World War 2 medals.
Step 3 – If making an online application, click the applicable link on the National Archives web page. If you decide to make a snail mail application, download, fill out, and mail the SF180 form to the following address:
National Personnel Records Center
Medals Section (NRPMA-M)
9700 Page Ave.
St Louis, MO 63132-5100
For those who like or desire to fax their WW2 medals request to NPRC, the NPRC Fax Number at the time of this writing is:
*Note: If you decide to send your request for World War 2 medals via FedEx, UPS, Priority Mail, or other express methods, the request will arrive at NPRC more quickly; however, it will not process any faster than if you sent the request via other means.
Step 4 – If submitting the application online, you will need to declare your relationship to the WW2 veteran, what service he or she served in, and have other service related information available to enter on the website to include the veteran’s social security number, service number, place of birth, full name, and approximate date that they left military service available to enter. The SF180 will require similar if not the same information to make your request via mail.
Step 5 – Once you have finished providing the information required by Veterans Affairs submit your online application (or mail the SF180).
Step 6 – You will need to wait for the U.S. Government to process your request. This will take anywhere between 90 days and two years. For those who are impatient or have an urgent need to acquire the respective WW2 medals, you can expedite the process by going through one’s local congressmen or senators.