I am searching for a veteran of WWII, Earl King, who served in the 561st Field Artillery Battalion. He would have been born between 1906 and 1925. I've checked the World War II Memorial Registry for entries people have made honoring a veteran of WWII, and I've gathered all the data I can from the Social Security Death Index and the 1930 Census. Unfortunately, both the SSDI and the 1930 Census do not give me anything on military service for WWII that is useful in locating this man today or descendants of this man and their whereabouts today.
Based on information I have gathered from the SSDI, 1930 Census, and the internet "white pages", I have a multitude of letters sent out to people who may know the veteran I am searching for. With some names like Smith, Williams, etc., sending out letters is practically impossible. I have now moved on to include posting messages to hopefully get some info directly from veterans or their family or someone who may know the veterans and their families.
The Army Records Center in St Louis may be of some small degree of help in finding hometowns as a starting point. NARA records, so far, are not a great deal of help since they primarily deal with causality records from WWII as is evident from the National World War II Memorial web-site Registry. I will be looking at the NARA site more since I've only begun to explore it. Any hints on how to best look for what I need will be great.
Let me give a little background: I started my search for men of the 561st FA Bn with a roster of names and in some rare cases, hometowns of some of the men at the times of their entry into the Army. That, of course, was about 60 years ago, and in most cases, things change a lot in 60 years. I also started with a list of men KIA in the battalion, so all the men I am searching for survived the war. I've used the SSDI and 1930 Census extensively, which in a small number of cases has directed me to the living veteran or a descendant or family member of a deceased veteran.
My search goes on for the other men of the 561st. My real interest is where the men are now or where their descendants or families are now.
The 561st FA Bn has an informal association, and an annual reunion; thus this work to find living WWII veterans of the unit, or their descendants and family. Currently, there is no 561st FA Bn web page.