Researching Your Chinese American WW2 Ancestor: Managing Your Research and Leveraging Unique Resources

Nov 18, 2023


An estimated 18,000 – 20,000 Chinese Americans served during WW2, but researching their wartime and veteran stories presents some unique challenges. In a continuing segment, KB Barcomb’s presentation discusses strategies to leverage the ever-increasing availability of WW2 records and resources to further your research. 

Last year, KB Barcomb, a military researcher and social historian, took us through the lives of some our loved ones, from the formation of a unit through their travels before deployment from the United States to the final destination of the China-Burma-India theater. Her examination focused on the 14th Air Service Group, a Chinese-American unit, but also shared the experience of any person of color who served in World War II and the challenges they faced in serving our country.

She will expand on resources for other branches of the armed forces – taking into consideration that many of the U.S. Army records were lost in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. She will provide mini-case study examples of Chinese-American WW2 service across the military branches, walking us through scenarios that any researcher might encounter.

KB Barcomb specializes in conducting WWI and WWII research through the lens of family history. She is a retired US Army officer with over twenty years of active-duty service, and is the daughter of WWII veterans. She is passionate about sharing the many nuances and details discoverable in military and war-era records.