World War 2 Personal Stories and Accounts

 

These pages include a collection of army, navy, air force, marine and civilian personal accounts and stories from World War II.

 

 

 

Personal Stories - U.S. Focus:

 

After the Day of Infamy: 'Man-on-the-Street' Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor

This digital library collection of audio recordings documents public reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Approximately twelve hours of recorded interviews with over two hundred individuals are presented. The result is a portrait of everyday life in America as the United States entered World War II.

 

America in WWII: The Magazine of a People at War, 1941-1945

America in WWII magazine covers the story of American men and women during World War II on the battle front and the home front.

 

Guardians of Freedom

The Nieman Enhanced Learning Center WWII Oral Histories Project.

 

Kilroy Was Here

Unknown stories and forgotten places from World War II.

 

Memories of War

This site exists to preserve and share the memories of the generation that fought for all of us in World War II. Veterans are urged to use this site as a place to display their stories for the benefit of researchers, writers, students, anyone who wants to learn more about our history.

 

Rutgers Oral History Archives

Rutgers University alumni and/or New Jersey residents who served on the home front and overseas during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

 

Tankbooks.com

The first WWII oral history website.

 

Voices of World War II: Experiences From the Front and at Home

An online exhibit that presents more than 200 sound clips newscasts, speeches, dramatic comedy programs, popular songs, armed forces broadcasts, commercials, special reports and more.

 

The War Experience: Memories of World War II

The War Experience web site is an educational resource allowing World War 2 veterans, and civilians, to share their stories with generations to come. It is a repository of first hand experiences and images, video, and audio resources related to the Second World War.

 

War Letters - Primary Source Documents and First Person Accounts

Documents, prose, poetry, photos and miscellaneous objects mailed to and from military servicemen during WW1 & WW2, Napoleonic & the American Civil Wars.

 

Witness to War: Preserving the Stories of War Veterans

The Witness to War Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the stories and unique experiences of combat veterans.

 

Women Come to the Front - U.S. Library of Congress

Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers and Broadcasters of World War II spotlights eight women who succeeded in "coming to the front" during war.

 

World War II Stories: In Their Own Words

Devoted to the collecting and assimilating of stories of common ordinary folks who were thrown into the epic experiences of World War II and the telling of their own stories in their own words.

 

WW2 Letters

The complete online collection of primary and secondary source documents in the form of letters sent to and from servicemen during World War Two. Find photos, drawings, handwritten poetry, typed letters and stamped envelopes.

 

WWII Letters

This blog has a collection of over 100 letters primarily written by U.S. soldiers during World War II.

 

WW-II Heroes

This site is dedicated to all those who served. It tells the wartime story of four of my relatives as I have discovered it. The information provided is a compilation of historic material, personal accounts, and information obtained from other sources.

 

 

Personal Stories - United Kingdom Focus:

 

BBC - WW2 People's War

An archive of World War Two memories - written by the public, gathered by the BBC.

 

Britain at War

Includes a collection of personal accounts from the Second World War.

 

Recollections of WWII

In the United Kingdom, thousands of people have recorded their memories of the War. Recollections of WWII aims promote their stories through providing researchers with a unique directory of oral history collections relating to the Second World War.

 

Remembering the 1940's

A site dedicated to the wartime years specifically and the 1940's in general. Memories, photographs and information from those that lived through WW2 as well as articles on fashion and dance of the period.

 

The Second World War Experience Centre

Our mission is to collect and encourage access to the surviving testimony of men and women who lived through the years of the Second World War and to ensure that different audiences share and learn from the personal recollections preserved in the collection.

 

The Wartime Memories Project

Preserving memories of The Great War and The Second World War, before they are lost forever.

 

The Wartime News

Since the launch of Wartime News in 1995, its popularity has grown, with editions now mailed to a wide readership around the UK and overseas. Each issue of this quarterly publication features personal reminiscences of the Second World War, many being published for the first time. Events that made news headlines over 65 years ago are being told today and are timely reminders of the tremendous struggle to overthrow the Nazi domination of Europe. Written by the veterans themselves, Wartime News features their experiences of war, many as very young men and women, never having left home before. Those memories are so strong and clear today and can only be described by those who were there, some enduring the harshest conditions imaginable.

 

World War II London Blitz Diary 1939-1945

Diary of my great grandmother Ruby (1884-1970) an English housewife and mother of seven sons living in London during World War Two.

 

WW2 Memories

Remembrances and recollections of the WW2 home front in Lancashire where author was born and grew up.

 

WW2 - A British Focus

A World War II page featuring, but not restricted to, a British focus on World War II memories and diaries.

 

 

Personal Stories - Canada Focus:

 

1939-1945: A Soldier's War - CBC Archives

From 1939 to 1945 Canadian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel lived and died in lands far from home. CBC Radio was one of the few links friends and family in Canada had to their loved ones abroad. Through reports from the front, dramatizations and direct greetings from soldiers, CBC revealed what life on the battlefront was like.

 

Canadian Heroes

Canadian Heroes is dedicated to two unsung heroes. This site has been set up for web surfers, veterans, historians and relatives to see the exploits and accomplishments of two great Canadians who sacrificed so much, so that future generations may multiply the benefits over and over.

 

The Canadian Letters & Images Project - WWII

The Canadian Letters and Images Project is an online archive of the Canadian war experience, from any war, as told through the letters and images of Canadians themselves.

 

The Canadian Wartime Experience - University of Manitoba

The differing roles played by Canadians during times of conflict, at home and abroad, are featured in this web site. The web site. provides access to a portion of wartime-related textual records and photographs that have been selected from larger collections within the holdings of the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections and digitized for research purposes.

 

Countdown to Victory: The Last Days of War in Europe - CBC Archives

Day by day, the news got better as the Second World War wound down in Europe. Sixty years ago, CBC Radio brought home reports of retreating Germans, freed prisoners of war, captured spies and surrender in Italy. But with the end of hostilities came dark news of hellish concentration camps, starving civilians and a rocky future for U.S.-Soviet relations. CBC Archives counts down the days to victory in Europe.

 

On Every Front: Canadian Women in the Second World War - CBC Archives

Canadian women were not allowed to fight during the Second World War but they did just about everything else. Tens of thousands joined the women's divisions of the Armed Forces. Hundreds of thousands stepped into jobs in wartime industry. At home and abroad they were welders and pilots, nurses and clerks, the homemakers that kept families together, protecting the home front and the Canadian way of life. These are some of their stories.

 

Remembrances: Canada and the Second World War

There are several ways to tell the story of Canada’s role during the war. This exhibit presents numerous images, stories and multimedia clips in an attempt to tell some of this story.

 

Reports from Abroad: Matthew Halton - CBC Archives

This is Matthew Halton of the CBC." So began Halton's war broadcasts. His reports were at times tender and sad and other times shocking and explosive. Halton was an unabashed sentimentalist who covered the war as a crusade, for which he was sometimes criticized but more often loved. Covering the major milestones of his generation – from the war trenches to the coronation of the Queen, Halton became Canada's most famous foreign correspondent. A thoughtful philosopher and determined idealist, Matthew Halton was an everyman poet who wore his heart boldly on his sleeve.

 

 

Personal Stories - Other/Mixed Focus:

 

EyeWitness to World War Two

Eyewitness accounts of the Second World War.

 

My War

This web page features a collection of short World War II accounts and stories from German soldiers and civilians. Some of the civilian accounts detail the chaos and destruction as the allied armies fight across Germany in the closing months of the war.

 

Nga Toa

Nga Toa meaning "Many Warriors" in the Maori language is a project dedicated to preserving the oral histories of New Zealand’s returned servicemen and woman. To date, over 200 interviews have been compiled in the Nga Toa video archive.

 

Poland in Exile

This web site is dedicated to the men and women who left Poland to fight against the Nazis and Russian Communism in the 1939 - 1945 War. These pages are a tribute to their unselfish valour and acts as a memorial in their honour. The following pages are not about major battles or great leaders but are dedicated to ordinary individuals. Their escape stories are some of the war's best adventure stories where bravery and military training in field-craft together with luck saved them from death or the gulags. Many of these stories remain largely untold to even those who we may regard as the 'nearest and dearest'.

 

SHAEF / ETOUSA Veterans & Friends Association

Veterans of WWII who served at Supreme Headquarters between 1943 and V-E Day hold annual reunions and publish a quarterly newsletter.

 

Through Their Eyes

World War II pictures from original photo albums. Here you will find wartime images taken by the servicemen who were there . Feel free to view the world through their eyes .

 

World War Two - Personal Stories

Several stories from Mike Kremble's World War Two website.

 

 

POW Accounts:

 

POW Accounts Collection

EverythingWorldWar2's collection of resources dedicated to POW accounts and personal stories.

 

Other World War II Personal Account Sections: