WWII Education

Discover how to research and write about any 20th century war through online courses, webinars and virtual conferences.

World War I, World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War.

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Get help learning where to start, what records to use, and understand what they contain. Learn how to harness the power of online resources and social media to add more to your soldier's story.

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"Incredible! Whether your looking for the smallest of detail, the answer to a question, or the entire story…Mrs. Holik is the researcher, the expert to work with. I was amazed as to the details, the actual written records, and pictures that she was able to find surrounding my father’s time overseas during WWII…so very much information/detail, even though I wasn’t able to give her much to go on, just my father’s name and that he was in the Army. Another unexpected, but very special characteristic of Mrs. Holik’s work was her sensitivity, her compassion, her love for the work she’s doing, and for the actual individuals (both alive and having passed) she was working on and for. She conveyed her sincere interest and care every time, whether on the phone, or in her written communications with me. Her work is very special, the product that she produces is very special, and she is one very special person. "

2199th QM Truck Company
Rich W.

"About twelve years ago I began to take a real interest in my relative, Pvt. Glen W. Standing, who was KIA on June 15, 1944 near St. Georges de Elle, Normandy as a member of K Co. 23rd Inf. Regiment 2nd Inf. Div. I located some of Glen’s military records, his boyhood home, his gravesite where his remains were repatriated back to the states in 1948 and his best friend from high school who served in the same unit and was wounded in the same battle but survived. A year ago I heard about a WW II Western Front Tour taking place in the summer of 2016. This is something that I always wanted to do so I signed on along with my wife and son. To prepare myself for the tour I bought eight WW II books and began reading. A book by John McManus, “Americans at D-day” caught my interest. I sent an email to Mr. McManus and expressed my desire to find a military researcher that could provide me more information regarding Glen and inasmuch as I was going on tour which included Normandy in the summer of 2016 someone who could research and trace the steps that Glen took from Omaha Beach to the location where he was KIA. Mr. McManus recommended military researcher Jennifer Holik. I sent an email to Jennifer and she responded immediately and understood exactly what I wanted and presented a research project outline. It was very professional and well thought out. Jennifer understands and feels the emotion of family members who are searching for information about loved ones because she has experienced this herself first hand. She and her associate searched the military archives at College Park, MD and St. Louis, MO. The work product I received was exactly what was ordered and what I needed. Now, while I am in Normandy with my wife and son we are retracing the steps of Pvt. Glen W. Standing from Omaha Beach to the area where he was killed on June 15, 1944. We will conduct a small memorial service there by setting up a temporary Fallen Soldier Memorial with a presentation of the Purple Heart Medal. Jennifer was also instrumental in putting me in contact with Florent Plana, head of the WW II Veterans Memorial Project, who lives in Normandy. Florent and a friend of his who is an expert on the 2nd Inf. Div. are meeting us in Normandy and taking us over the route that Glen followed. This will be a life time remembrance and it could not have been done without the expert assistance of Jennifer Holik. "

2nd Infantry Division Walk in Soldier's Footsteps Trip
Garth L.

"I gave the report you made for my grandfather, Robert Dickson, and his WWII service to my Dad this week. He absolutely loved it. He was blown away by the level of detail that you had. Your approach of using the daily reports gives such a fine-grained perspective on what was going on. Then adding the unit histories to give the broader context was really helpful. It was really special to be able to share this with him. He kept saying how much his dad would have loved to have seen it. I also showed it to a friend and he was excited by it, too. He may be contacting you to help research his father, now. Thanks so much for putting so much care into your projects! "

H Co 108th Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Scott D.

"Well my Dad really didn’t talk about the war. He had 3 framed pages of missions on the wall and that’s about it. We just knew that he had asked for a military funeral, but no one knew the extent of his service. Dad was 95 and had Alzheimer’s so it was way too late to ask. As Jennifer worked, the material started to come in. I remember staring at the first Daily Operations Report. There it was, that handwriting, the number “8”. It was his. Dad never wrote a diary, but he could easily spread a math equation over 2 sheets of graph paper. There I sat paralyzed with emotion as the reality of my Dad’s service sunk in. He was 95 and had come down with pneumonia so I had asked Jennifer to write a brief summary of his service before she left on an extended trip. Dad passed about a week after the summary was completed. The summary that Jennifer wrote bore witness to Dad’s history which would have easily been lost. As Taps was played for him, we all knew the depth of his service and patriotism. I’m still going through the research, a new revelation every time I sit down to read it. It has all revealed a different level of my Dad’s character that I didn’t think I could respect more, but apparently I can. Thank you Jennifer. "

Research & Eulogy
Ted S.

"Growing up, I knew that “Dad” was my Step-Father, he was always upfront and honest about that. I knew that my birth father had served in the Air Force, at Hamilton AFB, California (with the 84th Fighter Squadron as a Crew Chief on F-84 aircraft) before being separated for misconduct in 1957, the year before I was born. That knowledge informed my decision to enlist in the United States Air Force in the Aircraft Maintenance career field upon graduation from high school in 1976 to show the world that I could serve honorably for four years, I never intended to make it a career. As it turned out, I enjoyed the job, people, and travel opportunities the Air Force provided. After retiring on January 1, 2004 I started reflecting on my genealogical past, but never really knew where to begin. That changed in 2016 when I visited my maternal Uncle in Oklahoma and learned that he had started researching our family tree. The visit piqued my interest, so I started researching as well on Ancestry. All I knew about my birth Father’s family was that his father had “abandoned” my grandmother around the time of my father’s birth in late 1935. In time, I had discovered some information, including the fact that my Grandfather, Stanley William Fain, also served in the Army Air Forces and died on June 25, 1942 somewhere in India and was now interred at the National Museum of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. After reaching several dead ends on myriad genealogical sites, I wrote to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) for additional information on my Grandfather’s death. The response I received was that there was no information on his death, but there may be a pay record which might have a page or two; I was dismayed and at wits end. Shortly thereafter, I came across an exceptional presentation from Jennifer Holik on finding your WWII Military ancestors. I decided to contact her about my Paternal Grandfather; Her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm won me over so I asked for her help. Not only did she deliver as promised, she was able to provide documentation that I had been told did not exist. She knows every nook and cranny in the military records system as evidenced by the extensive, high-quality documentation expertly interpreted in an accompanying report. As a result of Jennifer Holik’s incomparable research, my journey has ended with pertinent questions answered; I could not ask for more!"

51st Fighter Group, USAAF WWII Research
CMSgt Robert V. Crawford, USAF (Retired)

"For the past 72 years I’ve thought about and tried to research the short life of my oldest brother William Edward Jones Jr. He was KIA on 13 January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge somewhere in Belgium. Bill was sixteen years older than me, my godfather, but I have no memory of him since the family was split up not long after my birth. If you believe in serendipity or things happening without explanation then you’ll understand when I say that he reached out to me on several occasions throughout my life, through strangers who knew him in life, or guided me to places and situations that unveiled his life for me to see. My latest unexplained encounter with him took place January 2017, I was doing some ancestry research. All of my previous attempts when I reached out to the War Dept. were unsuccessful as all of the records pertaining to his service had been destroyed in a fire in 1973. Somehow during my research I’d entered the Ancestry Blog site, on the screen in front of me was an article written by guest writer Jennifer Holik, the title “Writing Stories from the Heart” caught my attention, and I decided to read it. Jennifer described in this article her search for information about her cousin James Privoznik, who was KIA during the Battle of the Bulge on 11 January 1945. It wasn’t lost upon my sub-conscious that this was the same battle Bill was KIA just two days later, it also didn’t escape my mind that this was the month of January, and I was here reading this by chance or serendipity. I felt that it was Bill guiding me to uncover and learn about his life during WWII. I also knew from my past attempts I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own, so I contacted Jennifer through her website, in the hope of engaging her help. Fortunately she was able to take on researching for me Bill’s service, which she completed this August 2017. I now have a comprehensive picture of his life during his military service from his induction to his death. There was also the added bonuses of family history, like letters from my mother and father regarding the disposition of bill’s remains and personal effects. Jennifer who traveled to Belgium for personal reasons, and to participate in this May’s Memorial Day services, took time to provide for me present day pictures, and videos of the towns he fought in and monuments erected to the 30th division. I really can’t adequately express my emotions or appreciation for Jennifer’s efforts. It was truly a labor of love."

G Company 120th Infantry Regiment 30th Infantry Division Project
Clarence Jones


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