World War II research can be challenging, even for people who have been doing genealogy research for some time. Here are some tips you can use to get started researching a US serviceman (or woman) from WWII.
Jennifer Holik is the founder of the World War II Research and Writing Center and is a noted expert in WWII research. In this short video, Jennifer shares her tips for getting started. (Click the Play arrow to get started.)
- You might have more clues than you realize with sources you already have (letters, etc.)
- Keep the envelopes! (Jennifer explains why.)
- It was rare for soldiers to serve in only one unit
- Yes, there was a horrible fire at the National Archives facility in St. Louis in 1973. Jennifer explains what was lost and how the National Archives is working to recover some of it.
- The National Archives won't search for some specific records; you need to go in person or hire a researcher.
- Jennifer's World War II Research and Writing Center
- Jennifer's numerous WWII books and guides on Amazon
- National Archives, "World War II Records"
- Acronyms List, "US Army Acronyms (official)"
- WWII Forums, "Abbreviations and Acronyms of WW2 and service records"
- "How to Decode a WWII US Army Serial Number"
(Note: the link to Jennifer's books on Amazon is an affiliate link, which means that I get paid a commission when someone purchases through that link.)