Sunday, July 19, 2015

9 Resources for Researching Your Alaskan Veteran

Alaska Veterans from 1867 -- 
What You Should Know
To review the Military History in Alaska, 1867-2000 visit the Joint Base Timeline.

African American Army Engineers – WWII Alaska
Many know about the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen, but few remember the African American Tuskegee (Alaska – Canada) Alcan Highway contributions during WWII. Be sure to read the history on American Experience. The completion of the Sikanni Chief River Bridge in Oct 1942 is credited as ending segregation, after a long fight, of the U. S. Military in 1948.

Women Veterans
By 1994, over 1500 Native American women and Native Alaskan women served in the military. At least 60 Native American women served in the Eskimo Scouts before 1980.  According to a 2013 Alaska Business article Ceremony Honoring Alaska’s Women Veterans at State Capitol over 8500 female veterans live in Alaska.  Be sure to read Native American Women Veterans.

Where to Begin Veteran Research
1.      Alaska History and Cultural Studies provides an overview of the importance of military forces in Alaska. 
2.      Federal Records may be located at the National Archives - Pacific Alaska Northwest Region in Seattle, WA.  This collection holds Alaska Military Post Returns (1867 – 1916) and is a great resource for officer research, as well as reviewing unit events.

WWI Selective Service System Draft Records, 1917-1918. 
3.      With Alaska having such a reputation for WWII, many researchers fail to review the Alaska WWI Selective Service System Draft Records, 1917-1918.  Over 16 thousand WWI draft registration cards can be located on the FamilySearch website.

Alaska State Archives – WWI
4.      WWI Service Personnel Information 1923 lists WWI soldiers, residence, branch of service, enlistment and discharge dates, and more for the Territory.
5.      Alaskans Military Deaths compilation provides death dates and cause of death along with branch and additional military information of service personnel. 

National Cemeteries
6.      Fort Richardson Cemetery archives in Anchorage, holds information on WWII military burial records. Although many veterans were re-interred in their home cemetery, many remained at the Ft. Richardson Cemetery.  Read  history of National Cemetery of Ft. Richardson. For a listing of Veteran Administration (VA) recorded burials visit the Ft. Richardson website or Find-A-Grave (6678 names provided).
7.      Sitka National Cemetery, 1868-1870 established in Sitka, AK is administered by Ft. Richardson National Cemetery. Review VA burial records at for Sitka National Cemetery. or (1317 names provided).

Alaska Veteran Museum
8.      The Alaska Veterans Museum, located in downtown Anchorage, opened April 2011. Read news article: Veteran Musuem Opens Downtown. Visit the Alaska Veterans Museum website for their oral history collection, documentaries, and other military artifacts.

Looking for Native American Veteran Research?

9.      Researchers of Alaskan Native Americans must not bypass information on the WWII (1942 – 1947) military reserve force Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG), often referred to as the “Eskimo Scouts.” Begin research efforts by reviewing Office of Veterans Affairs ATG.  An ATG roster may be found here.  Be sure to visit Searching for Veterans on Alaska’s Remote Edges.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

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