military records

6 Jul 2014

Michigan World War II Veterans Database

A new database of Michigan World War II veterans is available, and you can contribute information on your Michigan World War II veterans to it. MLive, a Michigan online newspaper, is searching for an estimated 39,000 World War II veterans living in Michigan at the present time. MLive is building a searchable database of their names, photographs, and stories, which is also a valuable new tool for genealogists.

MLive will chronicle the men and women of Michigan who served during World War 2 and are still with us with a series of stories and events to commemorate their service. As part of our effort to honor these veterans, we plan to document them in listings in our local communities across Michigan. We plan to culminate the project on Veterans Day with events throughout the state. There will also be stories throughout the year about Michigan’s role in the war and the […]

28 Jun 2014

World War I Centenary

World War I Centenary commemorations are yielding some excellent resources for genealogists researching ancestors who served in World War I that I’ll be highlighting in future posts. But for today, let’s reflect on this devastating war and its lasting consequences with this poem by 20th-century Czech playwright and author Karel Čapek.

“The End of the Twentieth Century”

When this century collapses, dead at last,
And its sleep within the dark tomb has begun,
Come, look down upon us, world, file past
And be ashamed of what our age has done.

Inscribe our stone, that everyone may see
What this dead era valued most and best:
Science, progress, work, technology
And death – but death we prized above the rest.

We set new records, measuring men and deeds
In terms of greatness; thus we tempted fate.
In keeping with the greatness of our needs,
Our heroes and our gangsters, too, were great.

The XXth century, buried; nonetheless,
World, see […]

19 May 2014

A World War II Widow Journeys to Normandy

World War II Widow Journeys to Normandy is the story of a 60-year search for the final resting place of 1st Lt. Billie Dowe Harris. If you read only one thing about World War II and Normandy as the 70th anniversary of D-Day approaches, I hope it’s about 1st Lt. Harris and his devoted wife, Peggy.

Peggy and Billie Harris were married just six weeks before 1st Lt. Harris left to serve in World War II. On July 17, 1944, 1st Lt. Harris flew a mission over Nazi-occupied France, from which he never returned.

For more than 60 years, Peggy has been on a journey to find answers to her husband’s whereabouts.

He was first reported as missing, and then reported as alive and coming home. But Peggy later received a letter saying he was killed and buried at a certain cemetery, then another letter that said he was buried in another […]

21 Nov 2013

The Search for the Lost Marines of Tarawa

The Search for the Lost Marines of Tarawa a beautifully written piece by Wil S. Hylton in the The New York Times Magazine. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Tarawa. The battle lasted three days, costing 1,100 U.S. Marines their lives. As many as 520 Marines still lie in unmarked graves on Tarawa, despite a post-war recovery effort. Hylton’s piece features Mark Noah, a commercial pilot, who has devoted himself to finding and returning these remains to their families.

The Search for the Lost Marines of Tarawa Genealogy Genealogy
Courtesy New York Times

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