|Some of the everyday heroes of World War II|
I like large databases, ones with millions of records. Plug in a family name, and you're almost bound to find some relative or other. That's one of the allures of the WWII Enlistment Records from the National Archives (NARA).
There are more than 9 million records here of just about every man and woman who enlisted in the Army in World War II (1938-1946). My dad's in here, along with a host of uncles, great-uncles, some aunts and a few in-laws.
Along with a name, the records include rank, serial number, state and county of residence, date and place of enlistment, Army branch, term of enlistment, date and place of birth, race, education, civilian occupation, marital status, height and weight, military occupational specialty (1945 and later), and box and reel number of the original records on microfilm.
Don't forget to also check for your family history at NewspaperArchive and Newspapers.com. These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots. And visit the main page of Free Genealogy Tools for more, umm, free genealogical tools.