1. What was his name and age and do you have a brief family background ?
2. What was his education and did he have any work experience before he joined the armed forces ?
3. Was he already married with or without children, and what were his plans for the future ?
4. And, very important, what was he like, his personality, what kind of man was he ? What was his character and do you know any anecdotes to illustrate this ?
Service related questions:
1. Was he drafted or did he volunteer, and if so, why ? In what capacity (his MOS in army parlance) did he serve in his unit and how did he like his job ? How did his army career develop ? What was his exact unit ?
2. In which campaigns did he fight prior to his death ? How did he perform in battle, and do you know any anecdotes to illustrate this ? Was he awarded medals ?
3. Do you want to share the detailed circumstances of his death ? In which battle did he fall, and what was his contribution to that particular battle ?
2. Official army correspondence and documents concerning his service and death are also very helpful to answer many questions. Copies of his promotions, citations for medals, service records and the correspondence following his death contain a wealth of information. Next of kin; see 5 as well.
3. Copies of his letters home are also most welcome. Very often they give a fine impression of how a soldier experienced army life, although not necessarily combat.
4. Newspaper clippings, dairies, after action reports and unit histories can also provide helpful information.
5. The next of kin is still able to get official records from the U.S. Government concerning the circumstances of death of a soldier. Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs through this link Maybe the existence of these documents may spur you on to do research on a true hero within your own family, and I hope you want to share your findings with me.