Connecticut State Library with state seal

Research Guide to World War II Service Records at the Connecticut State Library

This research guide summarizes some of the Library's most important historical and genealogical holdings relating to World War II service. To find the materials most relevant to your research, please consult the categories below.

Connecticut Men of the 4th - Ivy Division part of the set "Connecticut Men in World War II"

Please Note:  An Archives Pass is required to use many of the materials described below. Please refer to the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections, for more information. Materials may not be available on a same day basis. Please see the guidelines on the Use of Offsite and Secured Collections.

Published Resources

Death Index

Archival and Manuscript Resources

Related Resources at the State Library

Links

Published Resources

"How To" guides for locating information on veterans

Knox, Debra Johnson. WWII Military Records: A Family Historian's Guide. Spartanburg, SC: MIE Publishing, 2003 [CSL call number History Reference D 797 .U6 K56 2003].

Johnson, Richard S. How to Locate Anyone Who Is Or Has Been in the Military: Armed Forces Locator Directory. Fort Sam Houston, TX: Military Information  Enterprises, 1991 [CSL call number History Reference UA 23 .J58 1991].

World War II Service

Several published sources referring to World War II service are found in the State Library's book collection. Of these, only a few list the names of persons who served. The listing below is not comprehensive. For additional materials, check the Library's main catalog under Subject headings such as "World War, 1939-1945 -- Connecticut" and "World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental histories -- United States," as well as under the names of specific divisions or companies.

Armenian General Benevolent Union of America, Inc. Armenian-American Veterans of World War II. New York: 1951 [CSL call number D 810 .N3 U52]. This is arranged alphabetically by name.

Bristol, Connecticut. World War II Historical Committee. Bristol Connecticut in World War II Depicting the Part Played by our Brave Men and Women who Dedicated Their Services to Their Country, as well as the Mobilization of our Home Life and Industries in Support of the War Effort, 1939-1946. Bristol, CT: World War II Historical Committee, 1947 [CSL call number D 769.85 .C81 B8 1947]. Includes a Roll of Honor List for those who served from Bristol.

Brugel, C. The History of the 304th Infantry. 1946 [CSL call number D 769.31 304th .H57 1946]. Includes photographs of units with names, as well as biographical sketches of commanding officers.

Johnson, Gerden F. History of the Twelfth Infantry Regiment in World War II. 1947 [CSL call number D 769.31 12th .J6]. Includes a list of all persons who served in the regiment.

Kaufman, Isidor. American Jews in World War II. 2 vols. New York: Dial Press, 1947 [CSL call number D 810 .J4 K3]. Volume 2 contains a list of persons who served and is arranged by state and then name. Name, rank, town residence, branch of service, and awards are given.

Kilpatrick, Archie. World War II History of Manchester, Connecticut. New York: Hobson Book Printers, 1946 [CSL call number F 104 .M18 K55 1946]. Includes a list of those from Manchester who were killed during the war.

Kone, Eugene H. Yale Men Who Died in the Second World War: A Memorial Volume of Biographical Sketches. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951 [CSL call number D 810 .E45 Y35]. Includes biographical sketches of men who attended Yale and were killed during the War.

St. Francis Nurses in World War II. Hartford: St. Francis Hospital Alumnae Association, 1946 [CSL call number RA 982 .H3 1946]. Includes information on graduates of the St. Francis Nursing School in Hartford who served in World War II.

State of Connecticut. Office of the Governor. Connecticut Men in World War II. 1945 [CSL call number ConnDoc G746se]. This is a nine-volume set of which the State Library holds volumes 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Each volume contains approximately 20 booklets, each of a different division. Each booklet includes photographs, brief stories of wartime experiences of some men, and names and addresses of persons from Connecticut who served in that branch of service or division. These booklets were digitized and are available through the State Library's Digital Collections page. A list of the divisions contained in the booklets with links to each can be found appended at the end of this guide.

Submarine Veterans of World War II: A History of the Veterans of the United States Naval Submarine Fleet... 4 vols. Dallas, TX: Taylor, Pub. Co., 1986-1990. [CSL call number D 783 .S92 1986]. This is an alphabetical collection of biographical sketches of persons who served aboard submarines.

United States Adjutant-General's Office. World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing. Washington, DC: War Department, 1946 [CSL call number History Reference D 797 .U6 A44 1946]. Names of Connecticut residents, compiled from the original nationwide listing of World War II Army dead or missing.

United States Army. 47th Infantry. History of the 47th Infantry Regiment. n.p. [CSL call number D 769.31 47th .A5]. A list of all those decorated or killed in action is included.

United States Navy. State Summary of War Casualties, Connecticut. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1966 [CSL call number History Reference D 797 .U62 C8 1946]. List of Navy and Marine Corps World War II dead, missing, wounded, and prisoners-of-war. A typewritten addendum lists non-combat dead.

United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-1973. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1973 [CSL call number History Reference UB 433 .U55 1973b]. Part I is a history of the medal. Part II lists those receiving the medal, by war or campaign and then by recipient's name. Information given may include rank, organization, place of birth, place where entered service, place and date of action for which medal was received, and a description of the action. Part III is a list of those who received medals and is arranged by state, branch of  service, and then by name. It is indexed.

Veteran's Death IndexPhotograph of the catalog drawers containing the Veteran's Death Index

The State Library compiled a death notice index of persons who fought in wars from the colonial period to the mid-1970s. The cards include some or all of the following: name, war served, age, whether died in service, where and when died, where buried (town and cemetery), branch of service, death certificate number. There are also reference numbers to collections that no longer exist, ie. news. (newsclippings), mem. rec. (Memorial Record). This collection, consisting of 116 drawers in the History and Genealogy index corridor, while extensive, is not complete.

There are several other card indexes found in this area of the index corridor. Burials (Drawers 117-182) indexes burial records; arranged by town, cards include name, death certificate number, age, date and place of death, war and branch of service served, and town residence. Out-of-state Burials, found in Drawers 189-197, include the same information but is arranged by war and then name. Drawer 199 contains burial records of Women's  Army Corps members, both in-and out-of-state.

Archival Resources

Records of Those Who Served From Connecticut

Most of the State Library's World War II service records are found in State Archives Record Group (RG) 12, Records of the State Library, War Records Department. The Department was established by act of the legislature in 1919, at the end of World War I. It was to "collect, classify, index, and install available material relating to Connecticut's participation, public or private, in the World War." The statute was revised in 1943 to include World War II service. Below are descriptions of many of the materials collected and processed by this department during World War II which gives information about those persons who served in the Armed Forces. While the History and Genealogy staff knows of no complete list of all Connecticut men and women who served in World War II, many people are listed in the following collections.

For information about viewing these materials, please see the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections Materials. Additionally, many of these materials are housed at on off-site storage facility and may not be available on a same day basis. Please see the Guidelines on the Use of Offsite and Secured Collections.

Correspondence

RG 12 includes several collections of letters exchanged between servicemen/women and people on the home front.

Letter to Mrs. George Huling from Letters from Servicemen/Women, Box 286

RG 12, Series II: 74a, Correspondence of Nelson R. Burr.

Boxes 285, 286. This collection consists of six scrapbooks of incoming and three binders of outgoing letters between Nelson R. Burr, a Connecticut native living in Washington, DC during the war, and Connecticut service personnel. The letters are personal in nature but do give some clues as to a serviceperson's branch of service, station, and activities. Each collection of letters is arranged chronologically with a surname index in the first scrapbook.

RG 12, Series II: 74b, Letters from Servicemen/Women. Teachers, parents or other relatives and friends were recipients of these letters. While personal in nature, they may give information about an individual's wartime service. The collection is arranged by town and serviceperson's name as follows:

Box 286, East Hampton (letters to Mr. Al Ellis, editor of the East Hampton News).
Box 286, Hampton (letters to Mrs. George Huling).
Box 286, Hartford, A-Bo (letters to a Mr. Brink. Also included in the collection of Hartford letters are published volumes of letters to the Hartford Screw Company and the Hartford Electric Company).
Box 287, Hartford, Br-Sh
Box 288, Hartford, Sl-end; Meriden; Monroe; New Britain; New Haven; Shelton; South Windsor; State Library.

RG 12, Series II: 74c, Incoming Letters from Newington Servicemen/women to C. A. Bowes, Principal of the High School.

Box 289, A-G
Box 290, H-R
Box 291, S-T

RG 12, Series II: 74d, Aetna Insurance Co. Collections of Incoming and Outgoing Letters. This consists of letters to and from Aetna's Salute, which was sent to Aetna employees in service.

Box 291, A-C
Box 292, D-J
Box 293, K-Q
Box 294, R-Z

RG 12, Series II: 8, Correspondence, Administrative Papers and Data Files, 1944-1957.

Box 108. This box includes letters from possible next of kin, collected for a memorial record of persons who died in service. They are arranged alphabetically by the serviceperson's surname.

Box 109. This box contains several different items. There are lists of persons from Killingly and Putnam who died in service. There are also newspaper articles from 1965 issues of the Manchester Evening Herald regarding a memorial to all persons from that town who served; these contain extensive lists of names. The last collection is a group of folders containing photographs, newspaper articles, and other biographical material for each Medal of Honor recipient.

Discharge Certificates

RG 12, Series II: 44, Discharge Certificates. Six boxes in RG 12 contain copies of discharge certificates for World War II and the postwar era. They include address, school, and military history and are arranged alphabetically by surname, as follows:

Box 223, A-B
Box 224, C-F
Box 225, G-K
Box 226, L-Pin
Box 227, Pio-S
Box 228, T-Z; names from the postwar period.

Gold Star Lists

These lists of those who died in service are named for the Gold Star given to their families to display in their windows. Information request cards were  sent to families to fill out; thus, the amount of information varies. Cards arranged by town, may include name, service number, address, next of kin and relationship, address of next of kin, branch and section of service, when and where wounded and died. Binders, also arranged by town, list when and where individuals were killed and the address of next of kin.

RG 12, Series II: 45, Gold Star Lists, 1940-1945. Boxes are ordered as follows:

Box 229, Binders arranged by town: Binder 1, Andover - Essex, Binder 2, Fairfield - Morris, Binder 3, New Fairfield - Woodstock
Box 229, Information cards arranged by town: Andover - Greenwich
Box 230, Information cards arranged by town: Griswold - New Haven (part)
Box 231, Information cards arranged by town: New Haven (cont'd) - Suffield
Box 232, Information cards arranged by town: Thomaston - Woodstock; no addresses; others arranged by county.

Honor Rolls

RG 12, Series II: 62, World War II Honor Rolls, 1946-1966.

Towns throughout Connecticut erected wooden broadsides listing all known persons who served in the war, and while some have been replaced with permanent monuments, others have been destroyed. Fortunately, we have an almost complete collection of photographs of these rolls, and the names on them are readable. Names of those who died are included and in many cases are highlighted in some way, such as by separate listing or a star next to the name. This is probably the most complete list of those who served, although a few towns are not included; the most glaring omission is Hartford (see "Service Records" section, below, for a good source for Hartford). These rolls do not give a tremendous amount of information about the person -- only the name and town, and, in some cases, the rank. They are arranged as  follows:

Photograph of the town of Union World War II Honor Roll, 1946-1966, Box 245 Box 244, Gold Star and Honor Roll lists arranged by town.
Box 245, Honor Rolls Photographs: Binder 1, Andover-Greenwich, Binder 2, Groton-Pomfret, Binder 3, Portland-Woodbury.

Lists

RG 12, Series II: 9, Lists of Connecticut Members of the Armed Forces, 1776-1946.

Box 117. World War II armed forces members from Connecticut. The two volumes are arranged by branch of service and further divided by town and name.

RG 12, Series II: 63, List of State Employees in Military Service, 1940-1945.

Box 246. This is a card list arranged in two parts -- by name and department. Cards are tagged to signify women, if tagged on the right; any persons who died in service, if tagged on the left.

"Memorial Record"

RG 12, Series II: 42, Memorial Records, 1940-1947.

Item 216 includes personal and military data of persons who died in service. Only a few items remain; most material from this collection was evidently destroyed.

Newspaper Clippings and Press Releases

RG 12, Series II: 61.

Box 243. This box includes four binders of clippings pertaining to Marlborough (and some East Hampton) servicemen, 1942-1945.  The binders are arranged by surname, as follows: Binder 1, A-Cla, Binder 2, H-Li, Binder 3, Lo-W, Binder 4, Miscellaneous items, including Honor Rolls from Marlborough, Haddam Neck, and East Hampton.

RG 12, Series II: 78, Hartford Times Articles on Servicemen, 1942-1945.

Boxes 300-305. These six boxes of unarranged records contain Army and Navy press releases concerning activities of Connecticut residents in service, such as promotions and transfers. Servicepersons' letters to the newspaper are also included.

RG 12, Series II, 72, Armed Forces Club guest book, 1943-1945.

Items 280-283. Four volumes of guest books include a person's signature, address and rank. While most guests were from out-of-state, some were Connecticut residents. Volumes are arranged chronologically.

Photographs

RG 12, Series II: 71d, Photographs, 1898-1950. Photographs from the Spanish-American War to World War II are found in this collection. Five boxes contain photographs of World War II servicepersons arranged alphabetically by surname. Boxes are divided as follows:

Box 275, A-C
Box 276, D-J
Box 277, K-M
Box 278, N-Sm
Box 279, So-Z; unidentified

The collection also includes World War II photographs by subject. These black and white photographs came from the publicity officer for the State Council of Defense and its successor, the War Council. A container listing that gives a description of these photographs is available for consultation at the State Library. Ask at the History and Genealogy Unit reference desk for assistance.

Records of Those From Connecticut Who Died in Service

RG 12, Series II: 47, Card List of World War II Dead. This is a statewide list of persons who died in service. Information cards may include name,  address, age, rank, date and place of death, next of kin, and service number and are arranged by surname as follows:

Box 325, A-E
Box 326, Chi-Fe
Box 327, Fi-J
Box 328, K-Mc
Box 329, Me-Rh
Box 330, Ri-Th
Box 331, Ti-Wa

Service Records

Several separate card collections within RG 12 contain Connecticut residents' service records completed by town clerks throughout the state. The level of response varied; for example, approximately 9,000 cards were returned from Hartford while New Haven returned only three. Information given on the form may include any of the following: name, address, next of kin and address, occupation and employer before entering service, where and when enlisted and discharged, rank, battles, promotion, decorations, and injuries. The collections are:

RG 12, Series II: 46. Card records of West Haven servicemen, World War II, 1940-1945. Arranged alphabetically by last name:

Box 233, A-G
Box 234, H-Z

RG 12, Series II: 60. Service Records, 1940-1945. This collection is arranged by town and then by surname, as follows:

Box 235, Hartford, A-Da
Box 236, Hartford, De-Ja
Box 237, Hartford, Je-Mo
Box 238, Hartford, Mu-Sm
Box 239, Hartford, Sn-Z; Marlborough, Norfolk, Weston
Box 240, Wethersfield, Wolcott, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Canton, Coventry, East Hartford, East Windsor, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Newington, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, South Windsor, Torrington, West Hartford, Windsor,  Windsor Locks, Miscellaneous, Out of State, Travelers Insurance Company, Southbury.
Box 241, Darien, A-G
Box 242, Darien, H-Po
Box 243, Darien, Pr-Z; Marlborough

More Archival Resources and Manuscripts

Additional archival materials on those who served in World War II from Connecticut can be found among other record groups. Some of these materials  are listed below.

Record Group 13, Records of the Military Department. The Military Department, established by an act of the General Assembly in May 1782, has responsibility for administering the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Connecticut Organized Militia and the Naval Militia. A Finding Aid to this collection may be consulted at the State Library.

Picture Group 46, Connecticut During World War II. Connecticut During World War II, Box 1, Folder 15, Victory Celebration in downtown Hartford, Aug. 14, 1945A collection of small groups of black and white photographs of war related activities in Connecticut. Included in this box are images of Connecticut troops at US forts, Local  Honor Rolls, and other materials.

Manuscript Resources. For many years, State Library staff cataloged manuscripts using the Dewey Decimal System. The Manuscripts and Archives Catalog is located in the History and Genealogy Unit Reading Room; retrospective recataloging and conversion to an online catalog has not yet been undertaken. Selected items of interest include:

McCarthy, Joseph [CSL call number Main Vault 940.93481 qM127]. Diary of Captain Joseph McCarthy, Oct. 17, 1944 to Jan. 14, 1945. Photostat of manuscript and typewritten copies.

Phelps, Franklin.F. [CSL call number Main Vault 940.93481 qP513]. Diaries of Franklin F. Phelps, 1941-1943. Photostat of typewritten copy.

Samuelson, Stanley Hilbert, 1920-1945. [CSL call number Main Vault 940.544 Sa 50]. 3 items. Scrapbook, diary and military record of Capt. Stanley H. Samuelson who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, 1943-1945.

Related Collections at the State Library

Newspapers

The Connecticut State Library holds an extensive collection of Connecticut newspapers. These may be of interest to researchers, as many local newspapers published information on servicemen and women. For example, published on page 1 of the February 16, 1942 edition of the Stamford Advocate is an article entitled "Seven More Volunteers Report for US Service;" the next day page 7 of the same paper has an article entitled "2 Greenwich Men Enlist in Navy." Newspapers also contain historical information on the battles fought by the men and women in the armed forces. For the most part, the newspapers are not indexed, so researchers should have a specific date or time period in mind.

Researchers may conduct a search of newspapers held at the State Library through our on-line catalog. A Subject search for: [the Name of the Town], followed by Conn. and the term Newspapers, will bring up a listing of newspaper titles for a particular town. (For example: Wallingford Conn. Newspapers). Click on the link for each title to view the catalog record. From the catalog record, a newspaper title that specifies "SL Microfilm," or "SL Newspapers Micro," may be borrowed through inter-library loan for use at a local public library. Check with your local library for more information.

At the State Library, newspaper microfilms are arranged alphabetically by town and then by the title of the paper in cabinets in the Newspaper Room.

Please Note: Many original non-current newspapers, noted as "StLib Offsite Newspapers" in the catalog record, are housed in secured collections. Please see the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections, as well as Use of Offsite and Secured Collections.

Picture Credits

State of Connecticut. Office of the Governor. Connecticut Men in World War II. 1945, Vol. 1 [CSL call number ConnDoc G746se].
Image of card catalog taken by Michael Manson, Connecticut State Library, 2005.
RG 12, Series II: 74b, Letters from Servicemen/Women, Letters to Mrs. George Huling, Box 286.
RG 12, Series II: 62, World War II Honor Rolls, 1946-1966, Box 245.
PG 46, Connecticut During World War II, Box 1, Folder 15, Victory Celebration in downtown Hartford, Aug. 14, 1945.

Prepared by the History and Genealogy Unit, Connecticut State Library, January 1995. Revised August 1999, June 2005, June 2009. 2009

Appendix

List of divisions contained in the set Connecticut Men in World War II [CSL call number ConnDoc G746se]. This collection is not indexed.

Volume 1

Connecticut Men of the 86th Infantry Connecticut Black Hawks, on Redeployment Furloughs, June-July, 1945
Connecticut Men of the 97th Trident Division, on Redeployment Furloughs, June-July 1945
Connecticut Men of the 95th Victory Division, July 1945
Connecticut Men of the 104th Division, July 1945
Connecticut Men of the 8th Pathfinder Division, July 1945

Connecticut Men of the 4th Ivy Division July 1945

Connecticut Men of the 87th Acorn Division, August 1945

Connecticut Men of the 5th Red Devils Division, August 1945

Connecticut Men of the 2nd Division, August 1945
Connecticut Men of the 44th Division, August 1945
Connecticut Men of the 13th and 20th Armored Divisions, August 1945
Connecticut Men of the 28th Bloody Bucket Division, September 1945
Connecticut Men of the 10th Mountain Division, September 1945
Connecticut Men of the 13th Airborne Division September 1945
Connecticut Men of the 30th Old Hickory Division, September 1945
Connecticut Men of the 91st Powder River Division, September 1945
Connecticut Men of the 35th Santa Fe Division, October 1945
Connecticut Men of the 45th Thunderbird Division, October 1945
Connecticut Men of the 85th Custer Division, August 1945
Connecticut Men of the 43rd Winged Victory Division, October 1945

Volume 6

Connecticut Men of the US Navy, Demobilization, Lido Beach Separation Center, Long Island, NY. Includes a list of Connecticut men who separated  through this facility on the following dates:

September 17 to 30, 1945
October 1 to10, 1945
October 10 to 18, 1945
October 19 to 24, 1945
October 25 to 31, 1945
October 31 to November 6, 1945
November 7 to 10, 1945
November 11 to 16, 1945
November 17 to 23, 1945
November 24 to 29, 1945
November 29 to December 4, 1945
December 4 to 7, 1945
December 8 to 11, 1945
December 11 to 14, 1945
December 14 to 17, 1945
December 17 to 20, 1945
December 20 to 23, 1945
December 24 to 30, 1945
December 31, 1945 to January 5, 1946
January 5 to 7, 1946

Volume 7

Connecticut Men of the US Army, Demobilization, Fort Devens, MA. Separation Center. Includes a list of Connecticut men who separated through this facility on the following dates:

September 2 to 7, 1945
September 7 to 13, 1945
September 13 to 18, 1945
September 18 to 22, 1945
September 22 to 26, 1945
September 26 to 30, 1945
September 30 to October 4, 1945
October 4 to 8, 1945
October 8 to 11, 1945
October 11 to 13, 1945
October 13 to 16, 1945
October 16 to 18, 1945
October 18 to 21, 1945
October 21 to 23, 1945
October 23 to 25, 1945
October 25 to 28, 1945
October 28 to 30, 1945
October 29 to 31, 1945
November 1 to 3, 1945
November 3 to 5, 1945

Volume 8

Connecticut Men of the US Army, Demobilization, Fort Devens, MA. Separation Center. Includes a list of Connecticut men who separated through this facility on the following dates:

November 5 to 8, 1945
November 8 to 10, 1945
November 10 to 12, 1945
November 12 to 13, 1945
November 13 to 15, 1945
November 15 to 16, 1945
November 16 to 18, 1945
November 18 to 19, 1945
November 19 to 21, 1945
November 21 to 24, 1945
November 24 to 26, 1945
November 26 to 28, 1945
November 28 to 29, 1945
November 29 to 30, 1945
November 30 to December 2, 1945
December 2 to 3, 1945
December 3 to 4, 1945
December 4 to 6, 1945
December 6 to 7, 1945
December 7 to 8, 1945

Volume 9

Connecticut Men of the US Army, Demobilization, Fort Devens, MA. Separation Center. Includes a list of Connecticut men who separated through this facility on the following dates:

December 8 to 9, 1945
December 9 to 10, 1945
December 11 to 12, 1945
December 12 to 13, 1945
December 13 to 15, 1945
December 15 to 18, 1945
December 18 to 19, 1945
December 19 to 21, 1945
December 22 to 24, 1945
December 24 to 26, 1945
December 27 to 28, 1945
December 29 to 30, 1945
December 30, 1945 to January 1, 1946
January 1 to 3, 1946
January 3 to 5, 1946
January 5 to 6, 1946
January 6 to 7, 1946
January 8 to 9, 1946
January 9 to 10, 1946
January 10 to 12, 1946