Military Monday – Mail Call During World War II

When we conduct World War II research, we primarily focus on the documents we can locate. Researchers are encouraged to look through family letters, photographs, memorabilia, military uniforms and medals and other items for service history clues. But one item we often overlook is the phonograph record.

During the war, soldiers were able to go to USO Canteens and record themselves talking to their family and friends, on a record. The records were small and able to be mailed home. Can you imagine listening to the voice of your family’s World War II soldier, especially if he was Killed In Action?

One of my clients recently sent me recordings of his father from four records. It was incredibly moving to see the photographs of this soldier who died 13 March 1945 in Germany, while listening to him speak.

To learn more about these records and listen to one, visit the Smithsonian Postal Museum’s website.

Coming in October, the World War II Research and Writing Center! The World War II Research and Writing Center brings together a collection of resources to help people research and write the stories of U.S. soldiers during World War II. We accomplish this through toolboxes, forms and checklists, articles, newsletters, webinars, courses, and books. Sign-up for my WWII newsletter here.

© 2015, Jennifer Holik

Categories: World War II | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Military Monday – African Americans in WWII

20150723_135716Last week I was at Pritzker Military Museum and Library and stumbled upon a book I did not know existed, while looking for something else. I found African American World War II Casualties and Decorations in the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine by Glenn A. Knoblock.

This book provides incredible genealogical and military service information on thousands of African Americans who served in these branches during the war. The term casualty does not only mean those who were killed or died of wounds. It also means anyone who was wounded.

The book is broken out by military branch and then adds a couple chapters on The Port Chicago Disaster and Pearl Harbor. Within each chapter, the ships involved in accidents or sinkings are named, described, and all those who were wounded. Each ship provides the name, information and sometimes a photo, of those KILLED or WOUNDED or DECORATED.

Interestingly, it leaves out the Missing In Action status. Now, all those Missing In Action were given a Finding of Death, which was the official death date. However, had the author separated those who were still considered Missing, that would have been helpful information. We cannot assume because a man is listed as being KILLED, that his remains were recovered and buried or buried at sea.

This book is a great resource for anyone researching African American genealogy or the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines during the war. I highly recommend it for any researcher who wants to learn more about our honored war dead.

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

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Writing Wednesday – Magazine Resources for World War II Research

Educating people about the many resources to reconstruct World War II service, across all branches, is one of the jobs I do. I accomplish this through my books, speaking engagements, and article writing. There are three magazines for which I currently write World War II articles. Have you seen them? The articles take a different look and often expanded look at the resources I offer in my Stories from the World War II Battlefield books. 

Internet Genealogy

The latest issue is Aug/Sept 2015 and has my article, Seven Resources For World War II Reunion Groups and Associations.

Your Genealogy Today

The latest issue is July/Aug 2015 and has my article, Beginning Your World War II Research.

You can purchase Internet Genealogy or Your Genealogy Today from Barnes and Noble or their websites.

The In-Depth Genealogist’s Going In-Depth MagazineGoingInDepth-201507-cover-300x388

I write a monthly WWII column for IDG. Clicking the link above allows you to subscribe to their magazine through my affiliate link.

Happy Reading!

Coming in October, the World War II Research and Writing Center! The World War II Research and Writing Center brings together a collection of resources to help people research and write the stories of U.S. soldiers during World War II. We accomplish this through toolboxes, forms and checklists, articles, newsletters, webinars, courses, and books. Sign-up for my WWII newsletter here.

 

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

Categories: World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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