The Beneficiary Identification records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) is an addition at Ancestry.com, that can be of great value because of it immense scope. It contains both birth and death dates for in excess of 14 million veterans and VA beneficiaries who died between 1850 and 2010.
Here is what Ancestry's dexcription of the database has to say:
"The BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File is a Veterans Benefits Administration database that lists the names of deceased individuals who had received benefits from the Veterans Administration while they were alive. These include veterans who received educational benefits and veterans’ survivors who applied for benefits. Details listed in the index can include
cause of death (unknown, natural, combat, other)
branch(es) of service
"This collection’s scope and the potential for providing birth and death dates make it a significant source for anyone researching ancestors who served in the U.S. Armed Forces."
It is an index only, so don't expect to see any digitized records.
To get to the database, type "BIRLS" in to the title field when you search the Ancestry card catalog.