World War II Genealogy – What Did They Do in the War?

Free resource for exploring World War II GenealogyWorld War II Genealogy

It’s a rare family that isn’t interested in delving into World War II genealogy. My grandfather, who registered for the World War I “Old Man’s Draft” was too old for the second World War. However, my dad wasn’t.

Because dad worked in an essential industry, was married with two kids, he wasn’t drafted until very late in the war (1944). According to my brother, Mark (the family’s WWII expert), dad was sent as a replacement into the Yankee Division (26th Infantry).

After training, dad was shipped to Europe, landed in France, then was wounded in November of 1944. After stays in several mobile hospital units dad was sent to England and then home, on board the Queen Mary to yet two more hospitals in the U.S. In many ways, I’m not sure he ever recovered fully from the trauma. Click here to read about the Queen Mary’s wartime service.

Although Mark is the keeper of the WWII records, I’ve been delving into them myself and have found quite a few excellent resources for doing genealogy research. I created a 17-page PDF with dozens of WWII resources, both subscription sites and free sites. You can download it for free by typing your name and email into the box (top of left column). It will then take you to an instant download page.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber you’ll find the World War II Genealogy Starter Kit in your Resource Library.

If your family keeps old papers around, it’s possible you’ll find items like discharge papers, medical records, disability report, medals, ribbons, or insignia. My Starter Kit will show you where to start looking for those types of records.

World War II vets are leaving us at as astonishing rate. The Veterans Administration estimates that about 492 die each day. That means there are less than one million  of the sixteen million U.S. citizens who served that are still alive. Although resources for U.S. servicemembers are abundant, there  are less for other parts of the world. However, the  PDF also covers non-U.S. resources, primarily U.K. and Canada.

Sign up for my newsletter to instantly receive the PDF, or look for it in your Resource Library.

Leave a comment: Who in your family served in World War II?



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One comment

  1. My father was a pilot in WWII, stationed in England with the 8th Army. I have been blessed, as dad kept all records from his military career. I have all of his flight logs since first training. I have pictures and letters he sent home while stationed in England and later in Germany. He was shot down on his last mission 5 Apr. 1945. He brought his crew to safety and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. Dad stayed in the military and also flew over 100 missions on the Berlin Air lift. I did a book for family members a couple of years ago and was able to document his military life from High School graduation till his retirement as a Major in 1975. My dad is gone now but one of his crew member is still living. I stay in touch with Bill and got to meet him and spend the day with him at the reunion of the 8th Army that was held in Dayton Ohio a few years ago. He is in his 90’s now. He became a POW in WWII on the second mission along with the rest of my father’s crew. Dad was sick that day with influenza and another pilot stepped in. Dad’s whole crew became POW until the end of the war. Can’t even imagine how hard that was for all those men.
    A good site for WWII research. http://www.teunispats.nl/fr-macr-12109.htm Pats is in Holland and I work with him constantly to honor these men.

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