The Marines Separation Notices are only one part of the Library of Virginia’s World War II History Commission Separation Notices Collection, which contains discharge records of over 250,000 Virginians who fought and participated in military service in World War II.
The information collected for the separation notices was done by interviewing service members while being discharged as well as information collected in personnel files on each veteran. The notices were not only proof of separation from the military and history of service but also gathered information to help veterans make a smooth transition back to civilian life.
Every branch of service inquired what the veteran’s job was prior to the military, what their military occupation was, and their preference for a job or education after the war.
This information reveals if service members’ previous occupations related to their job in the military and if their military jobs had any influence on what they wanted to pursue in the future. Many individuals wanted to go back to where they lived prior to service and continue their previous jobs, but some individuals moved to Virginia after the war to the Northern Virginia or Norfolk areas because of federal and military jobs.
The 248th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps is November 10 and Veterans Day is November 11, making it an ideal time to highlight this collection and some separation notices of Marine service members in World War II.
Born in Russia, lived in Alexandria, VA, and after service wanted to live in New England
Special Assignment – Executive Officer – Research and Analysis Branch
Prior Civilian Occupation
Research Engineer (Economist) and Economic Research Assistant
Future Job Preference
Marketing and Research
Martha Louise Anglin
Born in Petersburg, lived in Roanoke, and after service wanted to live in California or Virginia
Administrative Officer, Lodging House Manager, Education Officer
Prior Civilian Occupation
Teacher and Clerk-Typist
Went to College at Ohio University
Future Job Preference
Hotel Management or Hostess
These examples show how much information was gathered in one form as well as how different each service member’s experiences were and how they did or did not affect their preferences for returning to civilian life.
One of the most noticeable things about the entire Library of Virginia’s World War II Separation Notices Collection is how many different forms were used as Separation Notices throughout the war. Currently, there have been 16 different forms found in the collection: Marines-1, Navy-2, Coast Guard-2, Army-11. The military made many revisions to the forms—some revisions were small, and others essentially created new forms. There are many differences between the branches of service and what type or how much information they gathered.
The U.S. Marine Corps was the only branch of service that used one form type over the entire course of discharging personnel in World War II. Only having one form makes the indexing process easier for volunteers to recognize and find the information needed for data collection.
The goal of the project is to make all 250,000 World War II Separation Notice records and transcriptions accessible on the Library’s digital repository, Rosetta. In the future, all branches active in World War II (Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and Army) will be up for indexing by crowdsourcing and transcription volunteers.
Below is a list of all the forms found in the collection that will eventually be made available for transcription.
- U.S. Marine Corps Report of Separation (NAVMC 78-PD)
- Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service (NAVPERS-553) Rev. 7-44
- Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service (NAVPERS-553) Rev. 8-45
- Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service – Coast Guard (NAVCG-553) Rev. 9-44
- Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service – Coast Guard (NAVCG-553) Rev. 10-45
- Army of the United States Separation Qualification Record (WD AGO Form 100) 1 July 1945
- Army Separation Qualification Record (WD AGO Form 100) 15 July 1944
- Report of Separation (WD AGO 53) 1 August 1943
- Report of Separation (WD AGO 53) 1 Sept 1944
- Enlisted Record and Report of Separation (WD AGO 53-2) 1 November 1944
- Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge (WD AGO 53-55) 1 November 1944
- Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Discharge from the Army of the United States (WD AGO 53-56) 1 November 1944
- Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Dishonorable Discharge (WD AGO 53-57) 1 November 1944
- Enlisted Record and Report of Retirement (WD AGO 53-94) 1 Jun 1946
- Military Record and Report of Separation Certificate of Service (WD AGO 53-98) 1 November 1944
- Military Record and Report of Separation Discharge from the Army of the United States (WD AGO 53-99) 1 November 1944
You can help index the U.S. Marine Corp Separation Notices here: https://fromthepage.com/lva/wwii-marines.
If you are interested in attending a virtual or in-person transcribing event you can register at: https://www.virginiamemory.com/makinghistory/events/