When military personnel were discharged from one of the military's armed forces' separation centers, a notice or report of separation from military duty was prepared with multiple copies. The veteran indicated on the separation notice the address from which employment would be sought and a copy was distributed and filed at the nearest office of the Veterans Employment Service of the United States Employment Service (USES). Virginia had 32 regional USES offices to assist citizens and soldiers with employment and job placement. In March 1946 the Veteran's Employment Representative of Virginia and the Virginia State Employment Service agreed to provide the World War II History Commission with their inactive files of World War II separation notices. By July 1947 the Commission had acquired separation notices for approximately 250,000 of the 300,000 Virginians who served in the military during World War II.
When the records arrived at the Commission's Charlottesville office, they were in no order and the Commission had neither the time nor the staff to arrange them. Under the circumstances, the only obligation the Commission felt was to preserve the files and ultimately transfer them to the Virginia State Library where the "task and expense of alphabetizing or rearranging the file should be assumed." The Commission operated as an independent agency until 1948 when the state government reorganization act approved by the General Assembly on 30 March 1948 placed it administratively under the Virginia State Library. The World War II History Division, as it was now known, disbanded in 1950 and transferred their records to the archives. The Library accessioned the separation notices on 12 July 1950 (accession 23573).
The Library did not have the staff to process these records either but at the time it was not necessary. Duplicate copies were available from the federal government. However in 1973 the unprocessed separtion notices at the Virginia State Library became invaluable. On 12 July 1973, a disastrous fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri, destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. Approximately 80% of Army and Army Air Force records for personnel discharged between 1 November 1912 and 1 January 1960 were lost. No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. Naval personnel records (including Marine and Coast Guard records) were not affected. Due to the fire, the Army and Army Air Force separation notices at the Library of Virginia may be the only surviving copies.
From the description of Separation notices and reports, 1942-1950 (bulk 1944-1946). (Library of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 63209025