United States World War II Prisoners of War of the Japanese (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: United States World War II Prisoners of War of the Japanese, 1941-1945 .
This collection is an index of military personnel and civilians who were prisoners of the Japanese during World War II acquired from the National Archives "Access to Archival Databases" (AAD). The index includes name, rank, service number, branch of service, source of information, unit information as available from parent unit to subordinate unit and notes. This collection covers the years 1941 to 1945.
The records usually have the following information:
- Service number
- Arm of Service
- Subordinate Unit, Assigned Unit and Parent Unit
- POW camps notes
- Event type
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it will be helpful to know:
- Name of soldier
- Other identifying information such as service number or service unit
Search the Collection
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
Keep in mind:
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example use the name, rank and service number to obtain a copy of their complete military file.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- The index entries contain minimal details so it can be easy to confuse individuals with similar names.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Historical Record Collection
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Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. National Archives and Records Administration. “World War II Prisoners of the Japanese Data Files, compiled 04/2005 - 10/2007, documenting the period ca. 1941 - ca. 1945.”National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC