Sort Your Story blogger, Jennifer Holik, has been writing a series of books called Stories of the Lost. There will be five books total with the first two books and resource guides coming out December 2, 2013. One of these books will focus on the story of a women who joined the Women’s Army Corp during World War II.
Are you researching and telling the stories of your female ancestors? Jennifer and Sort Your Story Creator Lorel Kapke, have been focusing on the women in their families this year. Here are a few tips to get you started in researching your World War II female ancestor.
- Did your ancestor fight on the home front as a wife, homemaker, Rosie the Riverter or other role? Every role a female played during the war was important whether she served in the Armed Forces or was at home. Write the stories you know about your ancestors who fought from home.
- Did your ancestor serve in a branch of the Armed Forces? Was she a WAAC/WAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp/Women’s Army Corp)? Serve as in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service)? Did she help in the Red Cross? What about as a nurse? Other groups? Write the stories you know about these ancestors.
- For those that served in a branch of the armed forces, look at those histories. Many books have been written about these women’s groups by the military and by those who served. By reading these histories you will discover more about your female ancestor. You might even stumble upon a photo of her!
Looking for resources for Women in World War II?
On FaceBook: Women During World War II Group
These are only a few of the many sites that provide information and history on the women who served during World War II. What others do you know about? What stories do you have?
© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
Written by Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story Founder
My father was interested in the arts and was heading in the direction of becoming a commercial artist when World War II broke out. He insisted on joining the service as he felt it was “his duty.” However, choosing what area of the military to join was a bit difficult. (Ray was always considered a “gentleman” and not a “fighter” yet he enjoyed sports as he played basketball in high school -at 5’10”- he was quick on his feet !
The military questioned his intent and asked him if he wanted to kill the enemy. Ray felt no animosity towards “any group of people” and he did believe it was his duty to serve (with full knowledge of the political climate at that time.) Ray was placed him in the Navy as a gunner on the USS Davison and Minesweeper.
Historically, where Ray Kapke lived in Wisconsin, it was a tight German community. At that time in Wisconsin the impact both World War I and World War II had on this German community” was experienced by our German ancestors. I understand many, many cultures dealt with similar stories. I feel sharing these stories may be beneficial to understand “discrimination” was felt by “many, many groups of people in this country from early 1500’s and so on!
So our question to you today: Did your ethnic group suffer any discrimination during World War I or II in your community? How did that shape your family’s history? How are you preserving YOUR family’s war stories?
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California