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World War II Database

Can I reproduce photographs from the WW2DB photo gallery in my book, television show, or website?

Most photographs shared on WW2DB are in the public domain and those may be used by anyone without restriction. Whenever possible, each photo page lists the name of the source of the photograph beneath the caption of each photo along with the copyright status. If a photograph's copyright status is not listed, please contact us and/or consult an intellectual property attorney.

Do you have higher resolution versions of photographs seen in the WW2DB photo gallery?

No. WW2DB almost always has the highest resolution versions available in our online gallery.

How can I find out more about a World War II veteran's service?

The answer certainly depends on what country's military the veteran served with and some countries have better records from that period than others. As a general guideline, that country's national archive would be the best place to start.

United States

The World War II service records for members of the US armed forces are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Information on how to request copies can be found here:
https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

Notes:

1) Nearly all US individual service records from World War II are considered public records and no next-of-kin status is required to request copies.
2) These records exist in paper form (extremely few have been digitized) and many were destroyed in a fire in 1973; NARA estimates 85% of the US Army and Army Air Force individual service records were lost. Even so, it is still worth making the request; NARA says their "staff often is able to locate basic information relevant to a person's service from other records in their custody."

United Kingdom

Service records for members of the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force are the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence. Information on requesting copies can be found here:
https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/search/?RecordType=Ww2

Germany

German military records are the responsibility of Das Bundesarchiv (The Federal Archives). Their information about what records are available is here (English language page):
https://www.bundesarchiv.de/bundesarchiv/organisation/abteilung_ma/index.html.en

Note:

The Bundesarchiv warns: "The archive material from the period up to 1945 suffered considerable losses as a consequence of war. Many of the records of the central service units of the armed forces and of the army leadership, those of the service units and troops of the army below divisional level and those of the air force and the Waffen SS have been lost. Naval archives, on the other hand, and the bulk of war logs belonging to the command authorities of the army and the divisional headquarters up to 1943, survived the war. Most of the files of the Prussian Army were destroyed in the army archives fire in Potsdam in 1945."

Japan

For a variety of reasons, Japan's military service records are the most elusive. If any records do exist, the best starting point to look for them is the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (Japan's national archives). See:
https://www.jacar.go.jp/english/shusen/index.htm (English language page)

Canada

Military records for Canadian Military Forces are held by the Canadian Library and Archives. Information on how to request copies can be found here:
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/obtain-copies-military-service-files.aspx

Australia

Military records for Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, and Australian Naval Forces are all held by the Australian National Archives. Information on how to request copies can be found here:
Army: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/army-wwii.aspx
RAAF: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/raaf.aspx
Navy: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/navy.aspx

New Zealand

Military records for New Zealand Defence Forces are still held by the Defence Force. Information on how to request copies can be found here:
http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/personnel-records/nzdf-archives/accessing-military-service-records.htm

Italy

Italian military records are not centralized. For enlisted personnel, send a request to the Army Documentation Center closest to his birthplace. For officers, no information is currently available.

The links posted above are valid as of Feb 2017.

Can you help me determine the value of a piece of WW2-era artifact?

WW2DB is not involved in collecting nor trading of militaria, and has little to no knowledge in the evaluation of artifacts.

Can I send you a review copy of my book for a review on WW2DB?

Yes, but please keep in mind that we usually do not have a quick turn around; publishing a review 2 to 6 months after the receipt of the review copy is typical, and this timing is not guaranteed. Please contact us, tell us more about your book, and ask for our shipping address.

Can I advertise on WW2DB?

Yes. As of Nov 2013, we are using the Google AdWords/AdSense platform for advertising. If you have a WW2 history related business, you can do so by signing up for Google AdWords, create your ads, and target ww2db.com for your ads.

Is WW2DB looking to expand its staff?

No, we are not looking for additional contributors at this time.


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Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944