How to Request World War II FBI and WRA Files Stored in the National Archives
Under the Freedom of Information Act, family members and researchers can request copies of declassified government files stored in the National Archives and Records Administration.
Files usually contain information such as dates and times of prisoner transfers, reports of interrogations and hearings, letters sent by family members on behalf of the detainee and other documents.
Download the National Archives forms to start a DOJ Alien Detainee File Request or a WRA Evacuee File Request.
Department of Justice records are housed in the NARA Branch at College Park, Maryland. War Relocation Authority files are stored in Washington DC. File request forms must be returned to the appropriate branch.
If you are not requesting your own file, you will need the subject's signature. If they are deceased you must provide a copy of a published obituary or a copy of the death certificate. Death certificates can be obtained from the county recorder of the place of death or online for an additional fee here. More information about records of deaths occurring in California can be found on the state's website.
When you receive the death certificate send a copy with the completed file request form to the corresponding branch of NARA.
In a couple weeks, you will receive the result of the search and an invoice for photocopies priced at 50 cents per page.
If you need additional information on requesting FBI files, contact me at info@ManyMountains.org or call me at 310 324 3000.
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