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 HolikTweet