WW2 Blog

Capt Norman L. Aigner, USAF, WWII

Captain Norman L. Aigner: An Ordinary Guy

If you’ve been reading my blog with any regularity, you have probably come across more than one article about an “ordinary guy” who was completely extraordinary in battle. This article is about one such man. There is a recurrent theme pointing to Norman Aigner being quite an average guy. Don’t get me wrong: Speaking from ...
WWII Veteran Tomas Garza

Tomas Garza’s Daughter – “Now I Don’t Feel Empty”

Like most children of World War II veterans, Anna Bowen knew very little about her father’s experiences in the war. She knew that as Private First Class (PFC) Tomas Garza, her dad had been wounded in the leg – she had seen the scar where a bullet or shrapnel had gone through. But as with ...
Fresno Vets Memorial Flag

Hometown Heroes – Fresno Unveils New Veterans Memorial

On Friday, November 8, 2019, the City of Fresno unveiled a brand-new memorial honoring 464 local heroes who died in battle in wars ranging from World War I to Afghanistan and Iraq. Earlier this year, the City of Fresno contacted me, seeking to confirm names of four Fresno citizens who had died in battle in ...
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1

Parker Fondren’s Daughter

Clients come to me from many places and for many reasons. Some come from universities or towns, hoping to learn about the WW2 military service of their students or citizens. Some are from overseas, hoping to find out the story of a particular American serviceman who died in the liberation of their nation. Many are ...
27th Infantry Divisin Deployment Map via Hyper War

“He’s definitely our young soldier” – Remembering 2nd Lt Donald I. Gunn

In the course of nearly two decades of researching World War II veterans’ service records and casualties, I have been privileged to work with dozens of clients in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, along with more than a thousand clients in the US. For several months, I have been working with a Scottish client ...
Fred Koebig, UCLA WWII Casualty

PRESS RELEASE: UCLA Alumni Assoc. Honors World War II Casualties in Veterans Day Event, Beigel to Speak

  Press Release: WWII Researcher and Historian Bill Beigel Presents Research of 273 UCLA Bruins Killed in World War II Click here to reserve your tickets for the event. Click here for complete event information.
Rosemarie Maze, US Navy, following WWII

Remembering the Fallen: WWII Veterans of UCLA, Major Robert C. Maze

Rosemarie and Robert Maze are the only military couple included in my Veterans Day speech for the UCLA Alumni Association on November 9. Please join me at UCLA if you’re in Los Angeles that day. Pictured: Rosemarie Maze, US Navy, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross on behalf of her husband, Marine Major Robert C. Maze. ...
Battleship Row Pearl Harbor 1941

Remembering Jerry Angelich on Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In honor of this anniversary, I’d like to remember one of the heroes of that day. Sources differ as to where he was born. Some reports state that he was born in the gritty southern California harbor town of Wilmington, on ...
Allen County Public Library

“Lessons From a Corporate Dropout

Professional researcher and World War II historian Bill Beigel presented a keynote address at the 2016 Professional Management Conference, hosted by the Association of Professional Genealogists. The conference was held at the beautiful Allan County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Beigel addressed attendees of one of the nation’s leading genealogy industry conferences on Saturday,...
NARA Fire 1973

Workshop Presentation: “Researching World War II Military Files”

On September 22, 2016, WW2 Researcher and Historian Bill Beigel presented a two-hour workshop titled, “Researching World War II Military Files.” The session was presented to professional researchers at the 2016 Professional Management Conference hosted by the Association of Professional Genealogists at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Beigel presented an advanced-level,...
Cannon George H. U.S. Marine Corps

Honoring Lt. George H. Cannon, USMC, on Medal of Honor Day

On December 7, 1941, 1st LT George H. Cannon, age 26, was assigned platoon leader of Battery H, 6th Defense Battalion on a critical power station on Sand Island near Midway. In addition to his duties as platoon leader, Cannon was on a task force to try to decode intercepted Japanese messages. On the same ...
2nd LT Robert L. Schanen

Lt. Robert L. Schanen, Navigator of “Ascend Charlie”

Yesterday, I received this email from the relative of the navigator on Ascend Charlie’s final mission. Ascend Charlie was a B-17 Flying Fortress (tail #42-5903) from the 390th Bomb Group, 571st Bomb Squadron. You can read my full article on “Ascend Charlie’s” last mission here.. Dear Mr. Beigel, I just want to thank you for the piece you ...