When researching military history, one often overlooked source is military yearbooks. Before embarking into military service, every member of the US Armed Forces received specialized training in camps, bases, and training facilities, across the country. All branches of the US military have published yearbooks. Graduates could purchase them when they completed training. Much like a high school yearbook, military yearbooks contain names, photographs, and details from a serviceman or servicewoman’s training. Fold3 has a collection of 108 military yearbooks. They contain more than 157,000 indexed names and nearly 17,000 images. These yearbooks date from 1900-2011. Here are some examples of what you might find in this collection.
Advanced Flying School, Army Air Forces (1943): Based in Phoenix, the yearbook for the Class of 1943 Aviation Cadets at Luke Field includes indexed photographs of the cadets, information about their training, recreation, and details about Chinese pilots that trained alongside them. After graduation, some of these cadets would make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. One example is Peter A. Boele. After leaving Luke Field, he was assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, 55th Fighter Squadron. On May 25, 1944, 2nd Lt. Boele was shot down near the Netherlands and crashed into the sea. His yearbook photograph is on a page with 13 other cadets – nearly half of whom died while serving their country.
Citizens Military Training Camp (1923): Between the years 1921-1940, the military held training camps that allowed men to obtain basic military training without an obligation for active duty. This yearbook is from the Citizens Military Training Camp (CMTC) at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. In 1923, 25,000 men attended a CMTC where they trained in physical fitness, good citizenship, and the importance of serving in a time of need. This yearbook contains rosters, photographs, and histories.
US Army Training Center, Infantry (1969): Some soldiers fighting in Vietnam first attended Basic Training at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. From the moment of arrival, soldiers underwent rigorous physical and weapons training, drills, and inspections. The specialized training helped our fighting forces prepare for jungle warfare in Vietnam. This yearbook contains indexed photographs and a history of a soldier’s time spent at Fort Bragg.
US Coast Guard Academy (1925): Located in New London, Connecticut, the Coast Guard Academy helped prepare future Coast Guard Officers. Particularly noteworthy in this yearbook is the collection of photographs and biographies for those attending the academy.
Explore our Military Yearbook Collection on Fold3. If you have a military yearbook or Unit History that you would like to donate to this collection, please contact us at [email protected]. We can digitize your book and return it to you undamaged. Help us preserve these important military records and make them available for others to explore free of charge. See our entire collection of military records on Fold3 today!