Discover your military ancestor from Pennsylvania in this collection of casualty cards from World War II.
This collection of casualty cards includes both images of the original cards and transcripts of the pertinent details. The amount of information recorded on any given transcript may vary, but most will include the following fields:
Next of kin relationship
Next of kin’s first name(s)
Next of kin’s last name
State of residence
Images of the original cards may be able to provide additional details, such as if the individual was wounded or where the individual served (e.g. West France).
The World War II casualty cards were created for local newspapers upon the United States’ engagement in the conflict. The cards would include vital information and, occasionally, a photograph.
The collection does not exclusively pertain to causalities; the cards were created by the Army so that if or when something happened to a local soldier, the newspaper wouldn’t have to scramble for the information. This includes photos and cards detailing news and achievements of Pennsylvanian servicemen. These records are particularly relevant in light of the fire at the National Archives and Records Administration in the 1970s when most of the World War II personnel files were destroyed.
For example, the note that accompanies one of the photographs in this collection reads, "Parachutes in hand, Sgt F.P. Basford, right, of 1446 East Cheltenham Avenue, Philadelphia, chats with Cpl Billy Conn, center, leading heavyweight boxing contender now on tour of the European Theatre of Operations, and 1/Lt Earl E. DeMun of Wayland, New York."
Another photo, this one of a young man receiving his second lieutenant’s bar, reads, "At a 12th AAF B-26 Marauder Bomber Base – Seymour S. Baskoff, a bombardier, 4801 Gransbeck St., Philadelphia, Pa., receives gold second lieutenant’s bar from Lt. Col. Richard O. Harrell Jr, of South Boston, and Richmond, Va. Lieutenant Baskoff was commissioned from flight officer by Major General John K. Cannon for 'outstanding performance in actual combat.' His B-26 group is the oldest in the AAF."
Start your search broadly with just a name and then narrow your results with a year or place if needed.
If you know the rank of your military ancestor, use the optional keywords field to search by rank.
Use the residence search field if you know where your ancestor lived.