A catastrophic fire in 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center outside St. Louis destroyed 80% of the records of U.S. Army personnel discharged November 1912 to January 1960 and 75% of U.S. Air Force personnel discharged September 1947 to January 1964. None of these records – about 80-100 pages of info per soldier on average – had duplicate copies. Records about the battles these brave soldiers fought in, the ships they sailed on, the medals they received, etc. were lost.
Ancestry hopes to recover those lost accounts. The company launching a special project asking people to interview and share stories from World War II military veterans. Ancestry will take the submitted interviews and turn them into a searchable database to help supplement the lost World War II records for these soldiers and sailors.
Less than 600,000 of the 16 million American veterans who served in WWII are alive today. It’s predicted that 50% of remaining WWII Vets will be gone in 3 years and 90% will be gone in 10 years, so the time to preserve their histories is now.
For more information on the project or to contribute a story, please visit: https://www.ancestry.com/veterans.