World War II records

7 Dec 2015

From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa

Letters From the Pacific, From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa

This day doesn’t get much play anymore, possibly because the Pearl Harbor Survivors are all in their 90s.

My husband and I considered it a privilege in 2011 to commemorate the 70th anniversary from Ford Island in Pearl Harbor and attend the USS Utah interment ceremony.

This year, to commemorate the day, the New York Times has published a great article by Diantha Parker entitled, “Letters From the Pacific, From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa” about the Mossman collection of letters. It is well worth the time of any genealogist with WWII family.

In 2001, a box of old World War II letters surfaced from a neglected box in storage. What laid inside were the complete letters documenting the life of

Harold Moss, a soldier in the American Army during WWII. His journey starts in the States during basic training and leads him throughout the Pacific, all the way to Okinawa. Harold was fortunate to make it back […]

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 […]

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 […]

18 Dec 2013

Czech Kindertransport and Sir Nicholas Winton

This is the story of a remarkable man – still with us at the age of 104 – named Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from the Nazis between December 1938 and August 1939. Winton, a British stockbroker, established the Czech Kindertransport and worked with a team in Prague to save the children, most of whose parents perished at Auschwitz. Winton raised money, organized transports, and when necessary, forged papers to save the children.

Winton was so modest about his role in the Kindertransport that it was only revealed in 1988 when his wife Grete found detailed records in their attic. It contained lists of the children, including their parents’ names, and the names and addresses of the families that took them in.

Eighty of “Winton’s children” were located in Britain and reunited on the BBC television programme That’s Life! as you can see in the heart-warming clip below.

If you are doing family research in this area, Winton’s list is available […]