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Finding the Answers: Starting World War II Research
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Finding the Answers: Starting World War II Research


World War II research is surrounded by stories and myths which often give people the perception they cannot obtain any information about military service.

  • Have you heard, ‘All the records burned!’
  • Have you read on a website that you must be the next-of-kin to receive information?
  • Do you think sending in one form to request records gives you everything available?
  • Do you know there are additional records at NPRC, that staff will not search for you, that are required for Army and Army Air Forces research?
  • Do you think starting your search in unit records will provide all the answers?

Did you know there are many records available you can obtain by visiting the archives or hiring a research firm like mine? Records the archives will not search for you to reconstruct service history?

If records exist, what is the problem? Why haven’t researchers and family members been able to reconstruct service history easily on their own? The problem is, any books or guides produced by military museums, archives, libraries, and other groups, talk only about the fire, what you cannot get, and a few major record sources. Usually these materials stress searching unit level records, which is not the place to start research. None of these guides explains through a process, how to use other resources and records to reconstruct service history for all branches.

In this guide you will learn everything you need to know to start your World War II research, even if the records burned. Armed with the information you discover, you can find the answers to your military research questions.

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File Last Updated:
January 24, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on January 24, 2018.