Posts Tagged ‘Twentieth Century’

Have You Exploited Footnote Lately

 

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Missing Airmen Report Footnote.com

 

As a serious genealogist there is no doubt that you have earned your position at the research table in many libraries and historical societies in many of your ancestral regions.

You most likely also have subscribed to various online services such as ancestry.com, genealogybank.com and various subscription genealogical societies.

I have written about footnote.com on this blog several times in the past but now I want to call your attention to the massive amount of new information that is available to you on footnote. You will also note that many of the groups of records that are online at footnote also allow you to interact with the original records by submitting your own notations and additional documents, photos and research notes.

Footnote pioneered this interactivity a few years ago by allowing people to interact with the 1930 census and the Vietnam Wall records. Footnote does charge a reasonable annual fee to obtain full access to all of the data on their site, but they also provide many collections that are totally free to use by anyone.

Earlier this week I went to a local church supper and the program was a slide show and talk presented by my sister-in-law Janet Hillenbrand who presented an extremely interesting talk about her father Charlie Bennett who was a B17 pilot during World War II.

Charlie was on his 13th bombing mission on April 13th 1944 and though they had an engine shot out by flak over the ball bearing factory target, they were on their return and only a couple of miles from allied controlled Luxembourg when another flak burst along with a cannon shot through the cockpit from an ME109 forced the crew to bail out and the plane crashed.

One man was badly wounded and sent to hospital and all of the others were captured and spent the rest of the war in POW camps. The crew was split up and as Charlie was an officer he was sent to the north east part of Germany and actually was treated with more respect that he had expected.

Charlie always gave thanks to the Red Cross for the food packages that they received and claimed that in some cases the prisoners fared better than the boiled cabbage food rations that their captors were given.

It was an excellent program and the family has all of Charlies old uniforms and medals, letters, diaries and photos in an archive that is just great. Charley received the Distinguished Flying Cross and returned after the war to take over his family owned hardware business. Salt of the earth American history story for sure.

When I got home after the program I went to footnote.com and noticed that they have a large collection of World War II Air Force photos online in their free section that you all have access to and I found many images that were of interest regarding B17s.

Then I logged in to my account and searched on Charly’s name and found three documents that were original government documents called Missing Airmen Reports that gave all of the details about Charley and his crew mates.

This is just one small case of the sorts of things you will find on footnote. You can go to www.NARAgenealogy.com to learn more about the other categories of original records available online at footnote. You really need to exploit all types of original documents to flesh out your own genealogy and to help you find new clues that are in the National Archives Genealogy records

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