U.S. military deaths from the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, totaled 2,341, including 50 from Wisconsin. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers with the nonprofit initiative Stories Behind the Stars (SBTS), every one of these 2,341 fallen has a story that smartphone users can read at any gravesite or memorial, or at storiesbehindthestars.org/pearlharbor.
Door County native and SBTS volunteer Jean Cookle is building on the success of the Pearl Harbor project by working to identify every one of the Wisconsin service people who died during World War II and finding volunteers to write a short story about each. Cookle took on this project as a way to honor her father, a WWII veteran.
Cookle began with the honor roll of WWII dead compiled by the Army and Navy after the war – a list more than 75 years old that is incomplete and inaccurate. Her goal is to find all the names missing from the list. She estimates that the total number of WWII fallen from the state will be at least 8,300.
Cookle is one of hundreds of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who are participating in the SBTS nonprofit initiative, which provides training and free access to research sites such as Ancestry.com and Newspapers.com. So far, project volunteers have written nearly 22,000 stories.
Learn more at storiesbehindthestars.org.