07 December 2009

Footnote.com: WWII collection free in December

Today, Footnote.com has opened its extensive WWII collection to free public access during December.

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, this largest WWII grouping, including the first-ever interactive USS Arizona Memorial, offers more than 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives. These resources will help more people to better understand the historical events and to find family members who served in the various military branches.

A quick check for COHEN resulted in 283 mentions in various categories. Try your own names of interest to see what information is available.

The Interactive USS Arizona Memorial online version allows viewers to see the actual wall of names and search for those they know. An interactive box for each name features additional information for each veteran, and provides a place where viewers can contribute photos and stories. As an example, view Franklin Van Valkenburgh - The USS Arizona's captain - on the wall.

Although more than 2 million WWII veterans are still alive today in the US, thousands of veterans are lost each month - taking their WWII stories with them. Footnote's efforts to help preserve and transmit these stories is assisted by digitizing National Archives documents and providing tools to help people connect and honor their family members.

Footnote.com's press release mentioned Christina Knoedler of Pennsylvania, who used the Missing Air Crew Reports to discover information about her WWII vet father-in-law. “The other night, I showed him what I had found,” explains Christina. “He couldn’t believe that these papers existed. They had not only his name but also his buddies’ names. He started to reminisce and it was quite an evening. This will allow me to go back and document many more events in our family’s history for the generations to come.”

In addition to the Missing Air Crew Reports, the other WWII collections at Footnote.com include:

Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls
U.S. Air Force Photos
Submarine Patrol Reports
Japanese Air Target Analysis
Army JAG Case Files
Navy JAG Case Files
Naval Press Clippings
Allied Military Conferences
Holocaust Records

According to Footnote.com CEO Russell Wilding, people are making fascinating discoveries in the records. Reading the first-hand accounts helps viewers develop a different view and appreciation of WWII heroes and their experiences.

Experience the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial and the World War II collection.

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