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Research: U.S. World War II Ancestors-Part 1
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2014 marked the 100th Anniversary of World War I and the 70th Anniversary of World War II’s 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 ancestor’s life. Continue your journey into World War II military records in the Research: U.S. World War II Ancestors-Part 2 course.

Course Content

Module 1
Introduction to World War II
History of World War II
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
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
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
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 & 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
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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