I just received an email from Ancestry.com announcing a promo today through November 11 which lets you search military records free on their site. You will need to create a free account to do it.
I did a couple of searches to see what type of information I could find for free. I did a search for my uncle Arlyn Claywell, a WWII vet, and found out that he :
- Enlisted in Fort Thomas/Newport, Ky. on March 19, 1944
- His occupation was farmhand
When I spoke to Arlyn, about six months before he passed away in 2005, Arlyn said he was supposed to participate in the D-Day landing (Normandy), but became ill with chicken pox while in basic training and the illness postponed his deployment. As he was telling me the story, he said, “I was mad I couldn’t go… but it probably saved me.”
Arlyn went on to serve with the Army — making his way across Europe until the Germans were defeated. He was on his way to Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped. After the war ended, Arlyn reenlisted and was stationed in Germany.
Arlyn was my grandparents’ first son, and he was born on Christmas Day in 1925. If my memory is correct, that is why his mother gave him the middle name of Joy.