Hispanics Pearl Harbor and WWII
HISPANICS, PEARL HARBOR, AND WWII
Once again, a collective pause echoes across the United States as we commemorate the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941. The tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor and heroic efforts of our soldiers during World War II must never be forgotten. Here, we focus on Hispanics, Pearl Harbor, and WWII genealogy resources in the hope that you and your family will honor the sacrifices made for our country and freedom.
Antonio Aros Sinohui and his sister Virginia (Sinohui Gover), children of Santiago Sinohui and Carmen Aros, were raised in the peaceful southern Arizona town of Patagonia, primarily known in the 1940s as a rural community of hard-working Mexican-Americans. After the tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor, these siblings, like many others, were inspired to serve our country. During WWII, Antonio served in Europe and was wounded. He is buried at Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Lancaster, CA. His sister Virgina was a Sergeant First Class in the Woman’s Army Corps where she worked as a nurse in Okinawa and Japan. She was laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.
According to the National WWII Museum, 350,000 Mexican-Americans served in WWII. Like so many other families across the United States, Mexican-American families lamented and prayed during WWII for the safe return of their loved ones. Unfortunately, not all prayers were answered.
Today, let us pause to remember our brave soldiers, like the Sinohui siblings, who dedicated themselves to our country. Preserve and share their military history so that they may be remembered by your future descendants.
WHERE TO LOCATE WWII MILITARY RECORDS
United States National Archives
The National Archives Records Administration offers free electronic WWII records through its Access Archival Database (AAD) located at https://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-list.jsp?cat=WR26. It includes:
- WWII Army Enlistment Records
- WWII Prisoners of War Records
- WWII Prisoners of the Japanese Data Files
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosts a burial location search web site for veterans buried on or subsequent to 1997. To search visit http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/index.html
Fold3 maintains one of the largest U.S. military record databases. It offers many free resources that do not require a paid subscription. WWII databases are located at https://www.fold3.com/browse/251/
For a list of Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients during WWII and other conflicts, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hispanic_Medal_of_Honor_recipients#World_War_II
Many subscription based sites like Ancestry.com provide access to military records. For a good summary of WWII records for genealogy visit FamilySearch.org at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/World_War_II_United_States_Military_Records,_1941_to_1945
WWII HISTORY IN VIDEO
For more World War II videos visit http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/world-war-ii-history/videos/attack-pearl-harbor
Or visit a Huffington Post blog post on Mexican-Americans in WWII published on 10/01/2012 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/mexican-american-soldiers-world-war-two_n_1927793.html
Photo Credit: Sinohui sibling photos courtesy of Mark Cartwright of California.