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Discover family war stories in more new World War 2 records

2-3 minute read

By Liam Kelly

22 May 2020
American military records

This weekend, we're commemorating and celebrating the lives of American military heroes with our latest record releases.

We've added a further 2 million records to our military collection with this week’s releases. Here’s what’s new this Findmypast Friday.

The War Illustrated 1939-1947 was a magazine first published in 1939 following the start of the Second World War. The series was edited by Sir John Hammerton and its 255 editions ran from 16 September 1938 to 11 April 1947.

The War Illustrated magazine, 1939

The magazine captured World War 2 as it was happening. It is filled with black and white photographs and stories from those involved in the conflict, living up to its tagline as 'a permanent picture record of the Second World War'.

Explore an additional 1.1 million records in this poignant collection of fallen United States service personnel. The index can reveal the final resting place of your ancestor including:

  • Their date of birth
  • Their service and rank
  • Their date of death
  • The burial place and cemetery

This collection contains death records of those who served and are buried in various Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.

Covering over a century of history, these veterans fought in various conflicts, from the American Civil War, and the two World Wars through to the Afghanistan War.

Over 839,000 additions to these draft cards from the state of Georgia, can help you learn key information about your World War 2 ancestors. Discover important facts for your family tree including:

  • Your relative's age and birth date
  • Where they lived before they entered the war

While the military draft, or Selective Service System, was a national obligation, registration was carried out by draft boards on a local level. These records document the conscription that began in 1940 and continued through 1942 after the United States had officially joined the Allies in the war.

This week's update to our military collection is rounded-off with an additional 39,000 records from Louisiana.

After the outbreak of World War 2 in Europe in 1939, the United States Congress passed the Selective Service Act of 1940 and began the first peacetime draft in the history of the country, in anticipation of joining the war. Even after the Second World War ended in 1945, the draft was revived again by the Selective Service Act of 1948 and various other laws that kept military conscription active in peacetime, although fewer people were called up for service.

Along with Georgia and Louisiana, you’ll also find World War 2 registration and enlistment records from Kansas, Arkansas and Maine on Findmypast.

Findmypast Fridays live

Fridays Live May 22nd

Join Alex for a look at our latest new additions, how our ancestors sought to protected themselves from the Spanish Flu, tips for becoming a “family photo detective” and more. QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK: what first sparked your interest in family history? Have you got the wider family involved and if so, how?

Posted by Findmypast on Friday, May 22, 2020

Where will your past take you in this week's new releases? We'd love to hear about your discoveries on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the Findmypast Forum.