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US Military Forces Database - World War Two

As you have gone through your pedigree chart listing relatives and ancestors, if any males were born between about 1890 and 1922, they may have served in one of the branches of the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Corps, Marines and Coast Guard) during World War Two. However, make note not just males, but many women, especially born between 1910 and 1922 also served in the female military branches; like WAC – Women’s Army Corps. and others.

Even if you know which branch and approximate years of service and especially if you have no idea if a relative served you will want to check out the available online database of ‘Fold3’ of their World War II Collection.  This normally fee-based subscription database is now available free to anyone to search until April 30, 2012.

Some of the sections to this massive collection include the listing of those service personnel from the ship USS Arizona that perished during the sudden attack by the nation of Japan on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The largest section is the World War II documents.  These includes accounts of aircraft battles, draft cards, military war crimes, diaries of servicemen during the war, patrols done by submarines, along with the missing air crews reports which are some of the most fascinating items. I had two ancestors who died in military plane crashes and reviewing the missing airman reports provided such insight into their military life and what really happened relating to the crash. A great source for any researcher.

Additional sections to the collection include photos taken during World War II of battles, troops and battleships. From the National Archives is their collection of over 8.8 million ‘Hero Pages’ from their enlistment records. Not only is the basic information (name, birth date and place) included relating to a person’s enlistment between 1938 and 1946 but it allows the general public to add any special tributes and photos about individual service personnel. If there are additional facts from service records relating to each person, that has been automatically added to the information.

With each section of the collection there is an easy search box to assist in locating war events, battles and personnel. Just placing a surname or a specific location such as Australia, Guam, Philippines, England, etc. where personnel were stationed in a search will produce countless results.

The best part, this World War II collection is free to use, collect images and information through April 30th. Don’t miss out.

Above image from the World War II image collection showing two airman (on the right was Major T. H. Meyers, the pilot in 1943) of the U. S, Air Transport Command based in Australia.

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