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Research: American World War II Ancestors-Part 1
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2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of World War I and the 70th Anniversary of World War IIís D-Day. There are many records that were created during World War I that are similar in World War II. Learn what led to the start of World War II, how the U.S. became involved and the military records available. They did not all burn in the 1973 fire! This course will move from military records for the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines to civilian jobs including the USO, Merchant Marines and others. You will learn how to research the service of your military ancestors through numerous sources. Through this research you can then write the story of your ancestorís life. Continue your journey into World War II military records in the Research: American World War II Ancestors-Part 2 course.


Module 1
Introduction to World War II
Note about Web Addresses
History of World War II
Post World War I Highlights
World War II Highlights
Post World War II Highlights
Theaters of War
African Americans in World War II
Jews and the Holocaust

War Prison and Internment Camps
  • Japanese-American Internment Camps
  • U.S. Based German & Italian Prisoner of War Camps
  • Japanese and German Prisoner of War Camps
  • Tips on Researching Prison and Internment Camps

    Communication During World War II

    The Home Front
  • Rationing
  • Homeland Protection
  • Technological Development
  • Victory Gardens
  • Rosie the Riveter

    The Draft
    Final Thoughts

    Module 2
    Basics of Military Research
    Introduction to Military Research

    Start with the Basics
  • Home Sources
  • Public Records
  • Next Steps

    Military Service Records

    Serial Numbers
  • Army Serial Numbers
  • Navy and Marine Serial Numbers
  • Identification Tags
  • Types of Records
  • Rank and Unit

    Civilian Records
  • Restrictions on Records

    Military Occupational Specialty
    Training Camps
    Military Museums and Bases
    Military Terms and Slang

    Blogs, Social Media, and Military Information
  • Facebook
  • Blogs
  • Unit Associations
  • Google Books, Internet Archive, and Others

    Where To Go From Here

    Module 3
    Records Created in the Field
    Introduction to Field Records

    Records Created At The Company Level
  • Morning Reports
  • Monthly Personnel Rosters
  • Duty Rosters and Company Orders

    Records Created At The Organizational Level
  • After Action Reports
  • General Orders and Field Orders
  • Staff Reports
  • Histories - Unit and Regimental
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs, Maps, and Aerial Photography
  • Publications - Field Manuals and Training Manuals

    Other Publications
    Missing in Action Soldiers
    Prisoners of War
    A Note about MIA and POW Research
    Final Thoughts

    Module 4
    Military Death Records
    Introduction to Military Death Records

    Graves Registration Service
  • The Job
  • System for Recovery of Remains
  • Identification of Remains

    Temporary Burial
    Newspaper Sources

    Individual Deceased Personnel Files
  • Report of Burial
  • If Deceased Unidentified
  • Battle Casualty Report
  • Report of Death
  • Inventory of Effects
  • Disposal of Pay Records
  • Letters from the Quartermaster General
  • Request for Disposition of Remains
  • Disinterment Directive
  • Receipt of Remains
  • Certificate
  • Miscellaneous
  • Requesting an IDPF

    Naval Deaths
    Permanent Interment After the War

    Records on the Home Front
  • Funeral and Cemetery Records
  • Photographs
  • Military Headstone Application

    Final Thoughts

    Module 5
    Colleges, Civilian Employees, Red Cross and the United Service Organizations

    High Schools, Colleges, and Universities
  • Records at Educational Facilities

    Civilian Employees
    Civilian Records

    Red Cross
  • Red Cross Records

    United Service Organizations
  • USO Records

    Final Thoughts

    Module 6
    Navy, Merchant Marines and Coast Guard
    Introduction to Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Records
    Merchant Marines

  • Enlistment Records

    Examination and Training Records
  • Crew Lists and Muster Rolls (Ships Only)
  • Log Books
  • Non-existent Log Books
  • What Log Books Do Not Contain
  • Cruise Books
  • Ship Histories
  • Discharge Paper

    Final Thoughts

  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
  • Additional Websites

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