Below are listed the various ways we know to contact lost buddies and other
information we feel might be helpful to those of us not actively connected
to the Marine Corps. We hope they will be of help to you. We also appreciate
any suggestions or information you may have that would add to the value
of this page.
The Marine Corps will not give out the address of retired Marines; however,
it has a mail forwarding service that can be useful provided you have the
correct name of the retiree and, hopefully, his or her service number. The
forwarding service can identify mail addressed to an officer far easier
than one addressed to an enlisted Marine simply because of the size of
the data base for the two groups. Further, a great deal depends on the
name of the individual one is attempting to reach. The service can identify
a retiree quickly if they have an uncommon name plus some other information
such as approximate dates of service or date of retirement, etc. Personnel
with common names, such as Smith, Jones, Johnson, etc., are extremely difficult
to identify without their service number unless they have an extremely rare
first name and fairly accurate period of service or date of retirement.
Write a letter to the retiree you want to contact. Seal it in a stamped
envelope with only his or her known rank and name, (first name, middle
initial and last name), shown on the envelope. The forwarding service will
then complete the address if it can identify the individual you seek. Also
Include your return address on the envelope so that your letter will be
returned to you if not deliverable.
Write a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps at the below address.
In it provide data that will help identify the retired Marine. The individual's
service number (which has been their Social Security Number since about
1969) is the best identification. Include any service number that you know
the individual had prior to 1969. Include such information as Military
Occupational Specialty (MOS), approximate dates of service, approximate
date of retirement, last known address, and anything else you think might
help identify the retiree you are trying to contact.
Place the envelope containing your letter to the retiree and your letter
to the Commandant in an envelope addressed to:
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps(MMSR-6)
3280 RUSSELL ROAD
Quantico, VA 22134-5103
Be sure to use enough postage and include your return address.
LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE'S MAIL CALL SERVICE
If you want to try and contact either specific individuals, members
of your old outfit, or just correspond with other readers of "Leatherneck,"
the magazine has a free service titled "Mail Call" which will print your
requests on a space available basis. The magazine reserves the right to
edit or reject any request for correspondence.
When wanting to correspond with Marines, an individual may request that
only his or here name (and no other) appears. All requests must be printed
legibly or typed. Allow two to three months for publication. Correspondence
unsigned by the writer will not be used. Mail requests to:
Mail Call Editor P.O. Box 1775 Quantico, VA 22134
The following are some sample requests you may use as a guide.
"Former Marine Rodney J. Zilch, 2213 Main St, Anytown, VA 99999 to hear
from fellow members of Recruit Platoon 43, PI 1946."
"Donald I. Scuttlebutt, P.O. Box 2828, Oceanside, CA 92054 to locate
former Marine Emil Smokestack who enlisted about 1960 and served at Camp
"Retired MSgt Sidney Oldtimer, 853 Sheridan Rd, Uniontown, OK 93939
to hear from MGySgt Edwin Shrunk who served with him in 1/5 in Korea."
"Arthur VanBeveren, P.O. Box 83, Sometown, CA 92222 would like to hear
from anyone who served with his father, Emil VanBeveren who served with
E/2/1/1 in Korea in 1950."
Note: E/2/1/1 is short for "company/battalion/regiment/division." So
E/2/1/1 converts to E Company, 2nd Battalion, lst Regiment, lst Marine
NATION WIDE PHONE BOOKS ON CD-ROMS
There are several such programs on the market which have a data base
containing the subscribers name, address and phone number for all listed
phones in the United States. Data is accessed by name and the search can
be narrowed down to state and city/town. Such programs are invaluable in
locating persons provided you have accurate, uncommon names. We located
the majority of our 700 plus members using the Select Phone programs sold
by Pro CD, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923-4520. We have no
connection with such company. We used their product and were satisfied
We see numerous advertisements offering to research names at a cost
of $15 per name. This is a good deal if one is searching for only one or
two individuals with uncommon names.
Pro CD has a toll free number 1-800-992-3766 for placing credit card
orders. Regular retail price varies and is about $100.
Before you invest in a phone book CD-ROM you might check with your local
library. Many carry phone books for major metropolitan areas. In addition,
many of the larger libraries have computers and phone book programs you
can use for free. It is worth checking out.
If searching for someone with two capitals in their last names, e.g., DeMarco,
try both "DEMARCO" and "DE MARCO."
Same for those with names like "O'Connor, try "OCONNOR" and "O'CONNOR."
Lots of the clerks who type in the names for the phone data bases will
abbreviate first names, especially if the last name is long. So if you
are searching for a William Higganbotham be sure and try W'm H...."
If there are very few listings for a last name but no match on the first
name then try "Bill" for a "William," "Bob" for a "Robert,"
"Sam" for a "Samuel," "Ed" for an "Edward," etc. Also try initials.
We found that sending letters was an expensive and time-consuming way to
make contact. A phone call is quick and only costs pennies when you contact
the wrong person. It does run up a fairly large bill if it is the person
you are looking for but it is sure worth the money.
We recommend searching for someone with a common last name who has an unusual
first name. If you are searching for a retired military person with a totally
common name it often pays to review the long list of identical names to
see if an individual's rank is shown and/or if the individual has an address
near a major military installation of his branch of service..
OFFICIAL MARINE CORPS LOCATOR
If you are Active Duty,
Veteran, or a Family Member you may call the Marine Locator Service at
(703) 784-3942 /43/44/45. You should have a Service Number, Date of Birth, and an
MOS if possible. Non-veterans or non-family members can send written request
to the address below with a payment of $3.50 made payable to the U.S. Treasury.
This service is for locating Active Duty Personnel ONLY. If your trying
to locate a retired or discharged Marine they will only be able to give
you a discharge date.
Commandant of the Marine Corps HQMC, Code MMSB-10 2008 Elliot Rd, Suite 201 Quantico, Virginia 22134-5030
SERVICE RECORDS REQUESTS
Service Records for DISCHARGED Marines can be requested by a family
member free of charge from:
National Personnel Records Center 9700 Page Blvd., Room 5007 St Louis, Mo 63132-5295
Provide them as much information about the service member as possible,
rank, service number, mos, ect.,and what information you are looking for.
KIA and Active Duty burial locations may be requested from the USMC Casualty
Section at this address:
Commandant of the Marine Corps Code MHP-10 HQMC, 2 Navy Annex Washington, D.C. 20380