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Reading or viewing the news of the day can enrich your family history and add another dimension. The trick is to know what to search for. Your ancestor may not be listed by name in these records, but you may be able to learn about his time in the service through mentions of his unit, war conditions, battles, and glimpses of everyday life in the military. Learn as much as possible about your ancestor’s military service (e.g., military unit to which he was assigned, commanding officers, battles and engagements, etc.). Then formulate keyword searches based on what you know.
This category includes newsreels and military newspapers that recorded various military conflicts.
Newsreels give you a look at the conflicts as they were seen by Americans on the home front, and Stars and Stripes newspapers kept soldiers informed of military news, and included other historical items.
- Newspapers often published news about the activities of military units from the local area, so it may be useful to search newspapers for the area where the veteran enlisted. Search by the veteran’s name, but also try searching for the name of a specific unit or commanding officer in the keyword field.
- WWII United News Newsreels, 1942-1946 film clips can be browsed by year, or search using keywords like D-day or Iwo Jima to view related film clips.
- WWII United News Newsreels, 1942-1946 can also be searched for keywords like the name of your ancestor’s ship, a place where you know he was stationed, commanding officer, or unit name.
- In addition to the military newspapers in this category, Local Newspapers can be valuable sources of information about military service.