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Website Opens World War II Database for Pearl Harbor Anniversary

An aerial view as Japanese aircraft attack the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 - "the day that will live in infamy.": Photo by U.S. Navy

Ancestry.com is commemorating “the day that will live in infamy” by making its collection of World War II military records available, free of charge until Dec. 7, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The surprise attack, which killed 2,402 Americans and damaged or destroyed a substantial portion of the U.S.’ Pacific fleet, provided the final provocation that pushed the United States into World War II and led to the birth of the greatest generation.

Ancestry.com’s World War II collection contains 60 million records. The site estimates that 1 in 5 Americans is descended directly from a World War II Veteran.

The site charges between $12.95 and $34.95 per month for access to its genealogical databases.

Veterans or their family members who might be interested in finding military records can also access them through the National Archives. The Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center collects recollections of America’s Veterans through the Veterans History Project. Many of their stories, documents and photos are available through the project’s website.

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