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U.S. Involvement in World War II (1941–1945)

WWII's roots lie in the end of WWI—beginning with a treaty that left Germany destitute and hungry. Adolf Hitler easily charmed the German people with ideas of a greater Germany—which ultimately extended into the occupation of other nations and led to full-scale world war that would involve more than 70 nations and claim more than 40 million lives worldwide.

The United States again resisted joining the war until attacked on the home front by Japan. The next day America declared war. By war's end, more than 16 million U.S. service members had become involved with the worldwide conflict that claimed more than 400,000 battle and non-battle related deaths and some 670,000 non-mortal woundings.

The Ancestry World War II Collection

In our collection of WWII military records, Ancestry has more than 15 million names and 11 million images from documents created during and around WWII, roughly 1936–1946. Although the majority of WWII records are not publicly available, Ancestry has gathered together enlistment records, draft registration cards, POW records and more.