WWII Snapshots are easy to come across. They appear in bundles at flea markets and yard sales. It’s very uncommon to be able to positively identify a US soldier in a snapshot – let alone one that has relatives actively seeking information on ancestry.com. Please see below for a step-by-step breakdown of my research on this photo.
Step 1: Purchase of Photo
With the purchase made, I had to wait a week for the photo to arrive without any research potential on the photo. All I knew was that the shot was of a tanker with sand/dust goggles standing in front of a Sherman tank in France. An interesting shot, albeit sleightly out of focus…..
Step 2: Research Photo
Researching photos can be a daunting task without a proper research database at hand. Luckily, I subscribe to ancestry.com as well as a number of other databases. In this case, I was able to make the proper ID with the US census record combined with the WWII draft record. What do we know from the photo? It turns out that the photo arrived with an ID on the reverse: Johnny Housman-Tanker of Braceville, Illinois. It’s a great starting place and provided the key to the unlocking of the positive ID of the photo.
With the info at hand I was able to make an easy identification using the tools at hand. A quick search yielded the following info:
And his enlistment which appears to be off be off by a year:
I’m sure the family of John Housman Jr. will find this site and I hope they will share some info on their father/relative. I’m more than happy to send the original to an identified member of the family. I know you’re out there !