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New British Military Biographies on Fold3

May 21, 2018 by | 0 comments

Fold3 Image - Biographies of Irish WWI Fallen Officers
Do you have ancestors that fought for the British military? We’ve added an amazing collection of British biographies! They are loaded with detail and often include photographs.

Biographies of Fallen British Officers, Second Anglo-Afghan War
This collection contains short biographies of 140 British officers (and a few civilians who served in diplomatic service) that died between the years of 1878-1880 in the Second Anglo-Afghan war. The biographies are listed in alphabetical order and include those who died in military service, and also of other causes. The collection also includes records for 13 men who were awarded the Victoria Cross for valor.

Biographies of Irish WWI Fallen Officers
This is a collection of officer casualties of Irish regiments and Irish officers of British regiments who died and were mentioned in official dispatches from August 1914 to July 1916. Includes photographs and extensive genealogical information.

Biographies of British Soldiers Who Fought in India in the 19th Century
This collection covers 1100 soldiers who served the British Empire in India. It covers the geographical area of Punjab, North-West Frontier, Kashmir and Afghanistan. These records also cover major military actions of British India, from the two Anglo-Sikh wars to the Mutiny, the Second Anglo-Afghan war and ongoing skirmishes on the frontier.

Biographies of Fallen British Officers
At the beginning of WWI, officials kept a biography of each officer casualty from the British Expeditionary Force. It included a photograph and extensive biographical information. As the war progressed, officials were not able to keep up with the sheer volume of casualties. The project was discontinued. This collection contains biographies for casualties that occurred from 1914-1915.

We’ve got other British military collections available for you to view. Get started by searching here.

Vietnam War Veterinarians

May 10, 2018 by | 41 Comments

During the Vietnam War, American soldiers relied on working military dogs for a variety of crucial tasks. They could alert a soldier to an enemy presence or detect explosives, trip-wires and landmines. It is estimated that 10,000 lives were saved by more than 4,000 military working dogs in Vietnam.

Fold3 Image - 10 December 1968. Location: Long Binh, Vietnam.  Photographer: SP5 Ronald Delaurier.  US ARMY VETERINARY SERVICES.  CPT Jack H. Crawford, veterinarian, 245th Med Det (Vet), examines a dog's teeth at the pet clinic of the 245th Med Det (Vet) which provides veterinary care and treatment for animals and pets belonging to US government personnel.
These hard-working military war dog required specialty care, and soldiers who were trained veterinarians were the ones to offer it. Vietnam veterinarians provided everything from emergency care to everyday exams and treatment of disease and heat exhaustion. Veterinarian care was essential to keep both soldiers and animals healthy.

Military dogs were not the only animals cared for by Vietnam veterinarians. They often cared for sick animals like unit mascot dogs and adopted pets.

Vietnam veterinarians also participated in a civic project that provided care for animals that belonged to the local Vietnamese people. Captain Harold Lupton, a military veterinarian with the 175th Veterinary Detachment, recalled patching up an injured water buffalo that belonged to a local villager. “First they’ll bring in a dog for treatment. If that goes all right, they’ll bring in their pig. Last week we had a guy in here with 25 chickens to be examined,” Lupton said. Vietnam veterinarians set up hospitals and clinics in locations across Vietnam.

Vietnam veterinarians earned praise and commendations for their exemplary work in Vietnam.
We salute the veterinarians who worked hard to care for our working military dogs and other animals.

Did you or a relative have an experience with a veterinarian in Vietnam? If you would like to learn more about veterinarian care during the Vietnam War, search our archives at Fold3.com!

British and German Navies Clash at the Battle of Jutland: May 31, 1916

May 1, 2018 by | 57 Comments

On May 31, 1916, the British and German navies clashed in the North Sea, off the coast of Denmark, in the biggest naval battle of World War I. This battle, known as the Battle of Jutland, lasted about 12 hours and engaged more than 100,000 men on 250 ships. When it was over, more than 8,000 sailors on both sides had been killed.

Before the Battle of Jutland, the British had established naval dominance in the North Sea and blockaded Germany. Given that the British had the strongest navy in the world, German Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer decided to fight the British fleet one piece at a time, until he had shrunk it enough that he could defeat the rest of it in a full-scale battle.

Fold3 Image - Explosion of the Queen Mary at the Battle of Jutland
Accordingly, the Germans devised a plan wherein Rear-Admiral Franz Hipper’s scouting squadron would lure out the British Battle Cruiser Fleet under Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty. Then unbeknownst to Beatty, Scheer would follow with the German High Seas Fleet and destroy Beatty’s forces.

But British intelligence intercepted word that Hipper was putting to sea. This allowed Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, commander of the British Grand Fleet, time to order the Grand Fleet and Beatty’s battlecruisers (for a total of 151 British combat ships) to meet the Germans. However, the British were unaware that the entire German High Seas Fleet, with 99 ships, was at sea due to misinterpreted intelligence; they believed only Hipper was at sea.

The battle began on the afternoon of May 31 after a chance encounter between Beatty’s and Hipper’s ships, and Hipper successfully drew Beatty south toward the main German fleet as planned. When Beatty saw that the High Seas Fleet was in fact at sea and that he was headed straight toward it, he had his ships reverse course and in turn began drawing the Germans toward Jellicoe’s fleet.

Since the Germans didn’t know Jellicoe’s fleet was at sea, Jellicoe was able to arrange his ships at a right angle to the oncoming German ships and “cross the T,” allowing the British the superior position. The fierce battle continued, and the Germans eventually turned away, launching torpedoes in their wake to prevent the British fleet from pursuing them.

Jellicoe positioned his ships between the Germans and their home harbor to try to force a fight the next day. However, despite some localized skirmishes that night, the German ships were able to get around the British fleet in the dark.

When the Germans reached their home port, they declared victory, as the British had lost more men and ships. The British losses totaled 6,094 sailors killed and 14 ships sunk, while German losses were 2,551 killed and 11 ships sunk. However, the British emerged with what many historians consider a strategic victory, since the status quo was maintained: the British fleet still controlled the North Sea and the blockade of Germany continued.

Did you have any family members who fought at the Battle of Jutland? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the battle from the records on Fold3. We even have an entire book of British official dispatches regarding the battle.

New Casualty Records

April 19, 2018 by | 9 Comments

This month, we’re highlighting some of Fold3’s newest casualty records. Check them out!

US Marine Corps Casualty Indexes
This index contains basic information on U.S. Marine Corps casualties from the World War II and Korean War eras, about 1940–1958. Types of information available may include name, location, cause of death, death date, military unit, and service number. The records are organized alphabetically by surname, then given name.

British Battle Casualties of the Crimean War
This index documents British army and navy battle casualties during the Crimean War. It was compiled from contemporary editions of the London Gazette and contains approximately 16,000 names. Types of information available may include name, rank, regiment, regiment number, sub-unit, battle, soldier status, enquiry date, and print date. The records are organized by regiment, then the individual’s name.

British WWI Wounded and Missing
This index lists wounded and missing British, Australian, Canadian, and South African military personnel in all theaters of World War I about whom enquiries were made to the British Red Cross or Order of St. John. Information available may include name, notes, enquiry date, rank, regiment, sub-unit, regiment number, battalion, company, theater, and missing or wounded date. The records are organized by theater, regiment, then the individual’s name.

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
These records document the money owed to soldiers in the British army who died in service between 1901 and 1929. A small number of soldiers discharged as “insane” are also included. Information available may include the name, regiment, and rank of the soldier, his next of kin and their relationship, the date and place of death, plus the details of the money owed. The records are organized by payment center, year range, then register number.

Get started searching or browsing these titles and more on Fold3!

Bataan Death March Begins: April 9, 1942

April 1, 2018 by | 312 Comments

April 9, 1942, marks the beginning of the Bataan Death March, in which tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were forced on a grueling 65-mile trek across the Philippine island of Luzon, following their surrender to the Japanese. Thousands of men died on the march, and thousands more would die later in POW camps.

Fold3 Image - Photos from the Bataan Death March
Directly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese bombed Clark Field in the Philippines as part of their campaign to take control of Southeast Asia. This and other raids left the Philippines without air power when the Japanese landed 43,000 troops on the main island of Luzon on December 22, 1941. The American and Filipino troops, under General Douglas MacArthur, retreated to the Bataan peninsula, where they resisted the Japanese for months, enduring starvation, disease, and exhaustion in addition to the fighting.

Finally, on April 9, 1942, Major General Edward King surrendered all 76,000 American and Filipino troops under his command to the Japanese. (General MacArthur had by this time evacuated first to Corregidor, then Australia.) The prisoners of war were divided by the Japanese into groups of 100 to begin the journey to the POW camps at Camp O’Donnell.

The arduous 65-mile trek in blazing hot temperatures lasted about 5 to 10 days, and the already enervated men were allowed little food or water. They also faced numerous instances of brutality by their Japanese captors, from beatings to killings

The men were marched dozens of miles to a rail station at San Fernando, where they were crammed a hundred at a time into boxcars meant for 40. Additional men died on this train journey from suffocation, exhaustion, and dehydration. Estimates vary widely, but at least 500 Americans and 2,500 Filipinos (though likely far many more) died on the march and in the boxcars.

Things did not improve for the tens of thousands of men who survived to reach the POW camps. There were far more prisoners of war than the Japanese had anticipated, and conditions in the camps were horrific. Several hundred men died a day, with total deaths in the camps estimated at around 1,500 Americans and 26,000 Filipinos.

After the war, the Bataan Death March was designated a war crime, and various Japanese military leaders were executed or imprisoned for their role in it.

Do you have any relatives who are Bataan survivors? Share their stories with us! Or find more information about the battle and ensuing march by searching on Fold3.

Free Access to Fold3’s Civil War Collection, April 1–15

April 1, 2018 by | 4 Comments

Gun squad at drill
To commemorate the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, Fold3 is providing free access (with registration) to our Civil War Collection from April 1–15. This collection currently has 50 titles, with more than 91 million records, so if you’re looking for information on the Civil War veterans in your family tree—or doing other Civil War-era research—now is the perfect time to explore these records on Fold3.

Here’s a brief look at just a few of Fold3’s Civil War titles:

Popular Titles

Confederate Records

Can’t find your Civil War ancestor on Fold3? You can still use Fold3 to learn about what your ancestor’s military service may have been like. Here are a few ideas, though the possible uses of the Civil War Collection are endless!

  • Use the Brady and Civil War photo collections, as well as the Civil War Horse Soldier Artifacts Collection, to learn what life was like for soldiers during the war, including what uniforms and firearms were common, what military camps and headquarters were like, what battlefields and forts looked like, etc.
  • Look through the Service Records and “Widows’ Pensions” of men who were in the same company, regiment, etc., as your ancestor to learn more about what battles he may have been involved in and the movements of his unit.
  • If you have Confederate ancestors, explore the Confederate Casualty Reports for your ancestor’s unit to learn about casualty rates and even read narrative reports of actions your ancestor may have been involved in.

Get started searching or browsing Fold3’s Civil War Collection!

New Women’s Records on Fold3!

March 22, 2018 by | 2 Comments

Fold3 Image - British WWI Honourable Women
March is Women’s History Month. Come explore two of Fold3’s newest collections of women’s records: British WWI Honourable Women and British WWI Service Women Casualties.

British WWI Honourable Women
This collection is a reproduction of a book entitled Honourable Women of the Great War & the Women’s (War) Who’s Who. The book gives brief biographies of more than 200 British society women who participated in the WWI war effort through nursing, charitable work, etc. Photos of some women are also included. In addition to discussing the women’s war work, each entry provides a wide range of genealogical and social information, such as parents’ names, husband’s name, marriage date, hometown, hobbies, club membership, and more. The book’s entries are arranged in alphabetical order by surname. However, note that many of the married women included in this book are referred to by their title or surname only, or by their husband’s name or initials, rather than by their given name.

British WWI Service Women Casualties
Like the title indicates, this index documents British servicewomen and nurses who became casualties of World War I. Early in the war, women were primarily involved in the war effort through nursing, caring for refugees, and assisting and caring for wounded servicemen. But as the war progressed, women’s branches of the armed forces were created, and as a result women also served in organizations such as the Women’s Army Corps, Women’s Royal Navy, and Women’s Royal Air Force. On Fold3, this index is organized first by the organization the woman served with, then by given name in alphabetical order.

Get started searching or browsing these two collections on Fold3!