Morning reports are company-level reports that were filled out each day to reflect status changes for personnel assigned to that unit. These changes may include transfers, disciplinary actions, battle wounds, leaves, and those who were sick in quarters. We have just added a new collection, U.S. Morning Reports 1912-1946. This growing collection contains 2.33 million records with additional records coming. We currently have morning reports through the year 1939.
Morning reports were introduced in 1912 to track individual personnel pay and benefits. Until now, these records were only available in person and by appointment only at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO. After the 1973 fire at the NPRC, morning reports have been used more broadly by the Department of Veteran Affairs and the National Archives to research benefit eligibility for veterans whose records were consumed in the fire. For those doing military or genealogical research, morning reports are a way to track the movements of your veteran’s company and to learn details of your veteran’s service.
The Index Reels contain a set of 119 microfilm reels with a summary of information on a punch card noting dates and units relating to the morning reports microfilm. Microfilm Targets are sorted by their reel number, which points researchers to the correct microfilm reel.
The morning reports contain the name (in some cases last name only) of individual personnel, their rank, the arm of service, service number, location of the unit, and any changes to the unit strength by listing personnel changes from the previous day’s report. In some cases, the morning reports contain a Record of Events. Some of the WWI morning reports contain rosters naming all the soldiers in the company. We are in the process of indexing those names and they will become searchable. Morning reports after WWI do not contain rosters.
Until 1943, the morning reports were handwritten in cursive on pre-formatted cards. The quality of penmanship was dependent on the recorder. In 1943, the military transitioned to typewritten morning reports making research significantly easier.
To search this collection, enter the name of the unit or company, then search by date. In most cases, you will only see your veteran listed by name if there was a change in his status (sick, transferred, injured, etc.).