A highlight of Ancestry.com's U.S. Military Collection is the only complete online collection of WWII United Newsreels from 1942 - 1945. These counter-propaganda films were produced by the Office of War Information and shown in U.S. theaters and abroad during WWII. Newsreels were also dropped behind enemy lines in a German language version.
Ancestry.com's collection also includes The Stars and Stripes newspapers from WWI and WWII, commemorative military yearbooks, and the only complete collection of WWI draft registration cards. Combined, the records -- the bulk of which were digitized and indexed from original documents on microfilm at the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA) -- bring to life the stories and sacrifices of the millions of brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
"So many of us have had an ancestor or a loved one sacrifice to serve our country, and some may not even be aware of their military heritage and how proud they should be of their forebears," said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com. "This new military collection now available online will offer Americans the opportunity to discover their military heritage and the role their own families played in forging this country. We encourage everyone to create a family tree, upload photos and capture personal stories as a way of memorializing their ancestors and military history as our nation celebrates Memorial Day next week."
Inside the U.S. Military Collection
Ancestry.com's U.S. Military Collection captures all major wars and conflicts from American history, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts as well as the Spanish-American War and the War of 1812.
The eclectic volume of records features more than 700 databases and titles and 37 million images of original and often personally autographed documents including --
- World War I and World War II draft registration cards
- Prisoner of war records from the War of 1812, Civil War, World War II,
- Muster rolls (unit rosters) for the Marine Corps 1893-1958 and WWII
U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Muster rolls, 1939-1949
- U.S. Military burial registers 1768-1921
- Service Records from Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War
- Civil War Pension Index
- Casualty listings from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam
- WWI and WWII The Stars and Stripes newspapers
- Young American Patriots Military Yearbooks (WWII)
"Much like the U.S. Federal Census records, military records are among our most comprehensive and therefore treasured documents," said Retired U.S. Sen. Jake Garn, also a retired U.S. Navy pilot and Brig. Gen., Utah Air National Guard and astronaut. "Military records are one of the foundations to family history, providing precious links that can often be found no where else. Through the digitization and online availability of these documents, Americans can discover the story of our nation and remember the military legacies of their ancestors through details such as names, service dates and locations, battles fought, medals or honors awarded and even sometimes, very distinct physical descriptions."