To The Editor:
I wanted to contact your publication to inform you of the passing of my father, Jonathan Kauffman Hostetler. He served as a sergeant in the 394th Infantry Regiment as a communications radio operator. His ability to speak German was very important when intercepting transmissions from the enemy and translator. After the end of the war he was chosen to serve as a Military Policeman at the Nuremberg Trials assigned to Hermann Goering.
Most importantly, I am writing to ask a favor. Since my father’s discharge documents (Form DD214) and serial number have been misplaced, the family is unable to receive a veterans’ headstone for his grave. After contacting the National Personnel Records Center for Military Personnel Records, I was informed that all military records from 1912 to 1959 were destroyed in a fire in July 1973. They are unable to provide proof of my father’s service in the U.S. Army. A second application was sent with the same response from the records division.
Since my father was never treated at a VA Hospital or a member of the local chapter of the VFW, I do not have his serial number, which could help to locate his military records. I am also attempting to research information on the military personnel who served at the Nuremberg Trials in hopes of proof required to receive a DD214.
I have to believe my father is not the first veteran to encounter this issue with the National Personnel Records Center and hope that a family member or another veteran can offer assistance with obtaining my father’s serial number and ultimately, a headstone to honor his service to the country, if a notice is placed in your publication.