NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received via email from our friends at, and may also be found in the official Fold3HQ Blog here.

This month we’re excited to highlight some of the British military records we’ve added to our collection!

British WWII Commando Gallantry Awards:
This collection contains the names of nearly 500 British Commandos who earned a Gallantry Award during WWII. The awards include Victoria Crosses, Distinguished Service Orders, Military Crosses, Distinguished Conduct Medals and Military Medals. The collection is alphabetized and includes rank, regiment, and the date the award was issued. In some instances, the full citation was published in the London Gazette. Where applicable, that citation is attached in the comment field.

British WWII Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations:
These records are an alphabetized list of non-commissioned officers and men in the army who were awarded the second highest award for gallantry during WWII. The records are cross-referenced to the London Gazette publication dates and tell the stories that inspired the award.

WWII Distinguished Flying Medals for British Soldiers: 
This collection is an alphabetized list of nearly 6,500 recipients of the Distinguished Flying Medal award. The index was transcribed from surviving Recommendations. In some cases, they contain a cross reference to the publication date in the London Gazette. Where no Recommendation was found, the relevant press release is entered.

British Companions of the DSO Awards, 1923-2010: 
This collection is an alphabetized list of recipients of the DSO Award and subsequent First, Second, and Third Bar awards from the British Navy and Royal Marines. The records are primarily from WWII, but pre-war and post-war campaigns are also included. The records include birthdates, family members and other biographical information along with the reason for the award recommendation.

British Recipients of the Military Cross:
This collection contains records for recipients of the Military Cross during WWI. The collection is alphabetized and includes name, rank, and battalion or sub unit and other biographical details. Military Crosses are cited in the London Gazette and those citations are attached, including the confirmation of the existence of that issue.

Search Fold3 for these are other international collections today!

World War II Research and Writing Center: 2018 Course Offerings

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friend Jennifer Holik, Global Coordinator of the World War II Research & Writing Center,

17 April 2018 – Chicago ,IL & Amstelveen, Netherlands

The World War II Research and Writing Center is pleased to announce the release of three new online courses on our educational website WWII Education. Did you know that the strategies we teach also apply to World War I and Korean War research? When you take our courses, you can apply your new skills and knowledge to multiple research projects.

Finding the Answers: Starting WWII Research
Learn everything you need to know about starting WWII research in nine short lessons with nine handouts. This course presents material all at once to allow you to move through the process as quickly or slowly as you choose. Please see our website for full course information.

Finding the Answers: WWII Research Online
Are you ready to take your online research to a new level? This course, in six modules which drip every 7 days, with numerous handouts, introduces you to:

  • Reasons to research WWII service online.
    • What records may be available online.
    • Techniques to make searching easier.
  • Strategies to help you search the ‘Go-To’ websites for research.
  • A look at library and newspaper websites.
  • Explore military museums, research libraries, and social media sites.
  • An introduction to European research experts and grave adopters.
  • Information on how Americans can work with European researchers to preserve more stories.
  • Where to go to learn more.

Are you ready to start? Please see our website for full course information.

Finding the Answers in the IDPF
Course dates: May 14 – July 16, 2018
The Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) is one of the most important files researchers can obtain for World War II service members who died or are still considered Missing In Action (MIA.) The details contained in these files are more than date of death, cause of death, and locations of burials. We learn about the service history, medical history, family stories and grief, decisions which had to be made by family members, family drama, the inability to recover remains, and sometimes connect with other researchers who have requested the file in the past.

This course will begin on Monday May 14 and run for 10 weeks. You will explore seven extensive modules, which include 27 downloads, case studies, and worksheets. Additionally, you will be given access to an exclusive Facebook Group during the course period plus two additional weeks, in which you can have conversations, share files, and connect with other researchers.

Please see our website for full course information.

We will offer another session this fall. Registration information will be posted in July.



ARCHIVED: GreekGen Study Group 1- Original Surname and Village of Origin



Carol Kostakos Petranek is a frequent traveler to Greece. Carol serves as co-director of the Washington, DC Family History Center (in Kensington, Maryland). She also serves as a Citizen Archivist at the National Archives (US) and in the FamilySearch digitization project at the Maryland State Archives



01:26:58 Cousin Russ: Link to GreekGen Study Group Google Sheet –
Spartan Roots Blog.

01:30:41 Cousin Russ: Carol’s Spartan Roots blog
01:33:26 Cousin Russ: Handout: Introduction to Greek Research
01:40:25 Cousin Russ: Handout: Using US Records to Prepare for Research in Greece —

01:41:39 Cousin Russ: FamilySearch Wiki: Greece –
01:42:34 Randi Patrick: Will we have access to this chat after the lecture?
01:43:30 Cousin Russ: The Chat will be posted on Myrt’s Blog when this Webinar is posted
01:43:51 Randi Patrick: OK. Thank you.
01:43:57 DearMYRTLE: The account at FamilySearch is FREE.

01:57:18 Patty Markos: Carol, you happen to be a cousin somehow. Lol You recently sent a request to my brother. You’re amazing, btw! 🙂


01:58:50 Cousin Russ: Hellenic Genealogy Geek Facebook Page —
02:00:59 Cousin Russ: Don – Both websites have details on how to do download & upload raw DNA data and your GEDcom file of genealogy data. There are a number of FB DNA Groups.
02:08:04 Karen Trearchis: I have a baptismal record like this for my Dad.

02:35:13 Randi Patrick: Thank you, Carol for your presentation. It was very informative. It not only helped with Greek research but other ethnicities as well.
02:36:10 Panagiotis Papoulidis: Wonderful session Carol….thank you so much!
02:36:27 Suzanne Adams: This was wonderful Carol. Thank you! Excited to hear more about records in Greece next time! 🙂
02:36:31 athnamayporter: My village is now located in Albania since 1955 or so.
02:36:59 Patty Markos: Thank you so much Carol. I’ve already received family records for my father and mother using your GAK link from you blog. Amazing!
02:37:07 Karen Trearchis: Thanks Carol, this webinar was wonderful! Pat, we will adopt you!
02:37:09 athnamayporter: Any help would be so very helpful.
02:37:31 stacey Spanos: thank you, wonderful will be back
02:38:53 Karen Trearchis: someone just mentioned a village in albania, my Papou grew up in Hochiste, Albania
02:40:05 athnamayporter: In Albania, my village is in Sopiki
02:40:13 Cousin Russ: Our conversation will continue here —
02:40:44 Karen Trearchis: I think the village was near Korce.
02:41:25 Jackie Wilson: Thank you for doing this!!!!!
02:41:43 athnamayporter: Sopike is in the mountains. near the boarder of Greece.

This DearMYRTLE Event is presented at no cost. If you find the information useful, consider the Pay What You Want business model Ol’ Myrt employs:

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ARCHIVED: One Soldier’s Story – SSG Christian Werthwein

Christian Werthwein 2

SSG Christian Werthwein, Company L, 305 Infantry Regiment, 77th Division, US Army, WWII took pictures. A LOT of pictures. His granddaughter, Alexa Klimas Corcoran, inherited many documents and photos from the time of his basic training and his service in the Pacific, including the report of his injury at Leyte, Philippines. Our goal is to figure out what to do with this incredible collection.


19:02:59 From Betty-Lu Burton : Hello everyone
19:03:24 From MelissaBarker : Hello Everyone!

WWII Education FB

19:06:13 From DearMYRTLE : WWII Education (Group on FB admined by Jennifer Holik)

WWII ResearchWriting

19:06:29 From DearMYRTLE : JENNIFER HOLIK’S Finding the Answers Through WWII Writing Course:
19:06:41 From Irene Rossman: I’m going to take it, too!!
19:13:52 From Irene Rossman: Alexa told some of us about it.

19:14:03 From MelissaBarker : “Preserving Black Paper Photo Albums” from A Genealogist in the Archives blog
19:14:29 From Irene Rossman: I’m definitely looking forward to that blog post about preserving the black paper photo albums. I have inherited quite a few.
19:14:38 From Irene Rossman: Thank you, Melissa!
19:14:57 From MelissaBarker : Your Welcome Irene, if you have any questions please email me.
19:15:07 From Irene Rossman to All panelists : I sure will!!

iMAGE: Courtesy WikiPedia Commons

19:34:24 From MelissaBarker : Battle of Leyte Wikipedia:

19:37:30 From Deb Andrew : My dad was in WWII, awarded the bronze star, came home disabled.

IMAGE: US Army, Leyte: United States, Army Campaigns of World War II, p 16, citing National Archives. Caption reads “Infantrymen cautiously move toward an enemy
machine gun position.” ( : viewed 4 April 2018.)

Regarding SSG Christian Werthwein’s unit, this brochure explains

“Meanwhile, on the west side of Leyte, the XXIV Corps received welcome reinforcements on 7 December with the landing of the 77th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Andrew D. Bruce, three and a half miles south of Ormoc City and one mile north of 7th Division positions. The 77th Division’s 305th, 306th, and 307th Infantry Regiments came ashore unopposed’ although naval shipping was subjected to kamikaze air attacks. As the newly committed unit landed and moved inland’ the 7th Division resumed its march north, and the defenders were quickly squeezed between the two forces.

The commitment of the 77th Division proved decisive.” 


IMAGE: US Army, Leyte: United States, Army Campaigns of World War II, p 23, citing National Archives. Caption reads “Filipino volunteers carry supplies into the mountains to reach 1st Cavalry Division troops.” ( : viewed 4 April 2018.)

19:42:50 From MelissaBarker : Pritzker Military Museum & Library Link:
19:42:56 From Sheryl Whisenhunt : My step-father, turning 97 later this month, was a fighter pilot in WWII, shot down behind enemy lines, taken prison, and made to march many miles in the snow, with no protection, only food was bugs if they could find them, beaten numerous times. He received the purple heart.
19:43:09 From Deb Andrew : I have his discharge papers, Baine Washington Stone. My husband’s uncle was in the South Pacific theatre, Cyril Peter Zurlinden, correspondent in the service.
19:44:14 From Betty-Lu Burton : My father and maternal grandfather both served in the Navy during WW ll. My father was stationed in Hawii after Pearl Harbour
19:47:00 From Janine Edmée Hakim to All panelists : Good evening Jennifer Holik, does the museum have infrmation about,or links to information about the individuals in the USO who went overseas, in military uniform, during WWII ?
19:47:43 From Jennifer Holik to All panelists : Hi Janine – Does Pritzker have that? You should check their catalog and if you cannot find it then send an email and ask to be sure.
19:51:29 From Terri Kallio: Many of these WWII Units have websites – I learned a great deal about my Uncle’s service and time at Port Moresby.
19:55:13 From Anna Matthews : There is.
19:57:51 From Betty-Lu Burton : May be she could do a Blog or website with it and then note where you donated the originals
20:01:03 From Terri Kallio to All panelists : She can also turn the blog into a self published book
20:02:06 From Betty-Lu Burton : A Weebly website
20:02:23 From Terri Kallio: Smaller reach but, copies can be donated to local libraries where he lived and historical societies.
20:03:01 From Terri Kallio: I donated a copy of mine to the High School where my Uncle lived.
20:07:27 From Deb Andrew : Check out books by Cyril Peter Zurlinden, he wrote several books on the war in the South Pacific. He was at several of the worst battles fought in that area. He always said he was shot in the typewriter.
20:09:55 From Anna Matthews : Those photos are just amazing. I have some letters home from my grand uncle who was killed in Holland. In one of them he asks for family to send him film, but no camera, film or photos are listed in his effects. I have seen some photos of his regiment online but they were dated about a week after he was killed. I keep searching, though. I do have some photos of my grandfather overseas but they are military photos, not personal like these.
20:10:36 From Jennifer Holik: Anna did you get his IDPF?
20:10:47 From Deb Andrew : He was there.
20:11:09 From Deb Andrew to All panelists : He was there.
20:12:13 From Anna Matthews : He is, but he was Canadian military. His file is on Ancestry. I have visited there with my mother and grandmother many years ago. I’m crying again.
20:12:33 From Terri Kallio: She can look for the man from Kearney’s grave marker in Manilla –
20:12:39 From Jennifer Holik: We are crying with you Anna. Hugs. Is he still buried overseas?
20:13:11 From DearMYRTLE : ((((gentle hugs))))
20:13:26 From Terri Kallio: There is also a site for men who received purple hearts –
20:14:10 From Deb Andrew: Go to google books.
20:19:18 From Anna Matthews : I have read about how the Dutch people care for war graves to this day, it is very touching. I think the entire cemetery was photographed on flickr before it was on FindAGrave. There are some gorgeous photos of the cemetery on flickr. Much better than the ones we took with our plastic Kodak camera 🙂
20:19:47 From Deb Andrew: He might of met Cyril as he was a Lt. in the Marines.
20:20:44 From Janine Edmée Hakim : Thank you so muchfor the rare oprtunity to hear you generous;y share yur grandfater’s life
20:20:54 From Anna Matthews : I will have to tell Uncle Lawrence’s story – he had no direct descendants. I’ll have to start scanning those letters this weekend!
20:21:52 From Debi Polen : Thank you so very, very much.
20:22:25 From Susan Bleimehl : Excellent evening. Thanks for sharing
20:22:50 From Molly McKinley: Oh my, that made me think of my dad so much. He was Navy, but the memories are stirred up now.
20:22:54 From Anna Matthews : Thank you!

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WWII Education Site and Writing Course Debuts

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friend Jennifer Holik at the WWII, Global Coordinator of the World War II Research & Writing Center.

WWII ResearchWriting


The World War II Research and Writing Center is pleased to announce the release of a new educational website. WWII Education, which will provide users to online courses, webinars, and more! We are excited to announce the release of our first course, Finding the Answers Through WWII Writing.

Course Description:

Stories have the power to transform us. Throughout our lives, the stories we have heard may shape our identity. They may shape the perspective we have on life, the past, present, and future, ourselves, and those we love. Stories may raise questions about the war, family secrets, those who were lost, and things we discover through our research.

Take a walk with me for five weeks, through a WWII family story. Each week you will receive access to a new module to help you explore your family & military stories. The target of this course is help you put a story on paper and view it from multiple perspectives to see how you, your family, and the story have grown, found answers, peace, and closure. Finally, you will have the opportunity to witness the changes in one of my stories as I vulnerably talk about moments in my life.

We will discuss:

  • Why We Write
  • Identity
  • Perspective
  • Transformation
  • Legacy & Closure

Are you ready to start this journey to explore your family & military stories? Just click the link and get started today!

Researching your service member’s history can be complex. The World War II Research and Writing Center provides expert research experts to tackle your most challenging research questions. Contact us at for project details and costs. We have researchers on-site at the National Archives facilities to obtain materials within a few weeks, and a network of researchers and tour guides around the globe.