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The letter said that in 1996 and 1997, the Pentagon "engaged with limited success in a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm." During the process, "the microfilm payroll records of numerous service members were damaged," the letter said.
This process resulted in "the inadvertent destruction of microfilm containing certain National Guard payroll records," including Bush's, the letter said.
But there was no new evidence given at that time to show that he was in Alabama during the period when Democrats questioned whether he performed his service obligation.
The records showed that Bush, a pilot, was suspended from flying status beginning Aug. 1, 1972, because of his failure to have an annual medical examination. His last flight exam was on May 15, 1971. There were no new documents, during that February release, to shed any light on Bush's service in Alabama.