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Wwii, Korea, Vietnam usaf col. need help researching him

Article about: I recently purchased this leather case of cameras and lenses. On the leather case that had the cameras in it there is a metal plate that engraved in it says “Joseph H. Sherwood, Jr Col. -

  1. #11

    Default Colonel Joseph Huling Sherwood 1917-1981


    No obituary or type of A/C flown, but I did find some more info. His cause of death in 1981 was cancer. Also, sadly his only child died in 1973. She was seventeen and had lost control of her car and went into oncoming traffic; dying of her injuries at the scene.


    V/r Lance

    First, his awards as of 1948.

    Wwii, Korea, Vietnam usaf col. need help researching him

    A newspaper article from 1945 mentioning his being awarded the Silver Star at an Airforce's Day event. See red line for his name.

    Wwii, Korea, Vietnam usaf col. need help researching him

    And two newspapers' photos of him while he was Commander of a training unit (1959) then, a regional recruiting command (1966).

    Wwii, Korea, Vietnam usaf col. need help researching himWwii, Korea, Vietnam usaf col. need help researching him

  2. #12


    Wow! Thank you for the reply. It’s a shame I cannot write to the family and see if they might have information about what he did during the time he was in. Once again thank you for the help

  3. #13


    A word of caution when reaching out to family members of deceased Veterans,, In some cases, and I am not saying all instances, the family when contacted can get very defensive and it could be an uncomfortable predicament that you may find yourself in. I have reached out to family members before and in most cases they were willing to discuss but I have also had those members who wanted their family members items back and made accusatory statements about the items being stolen or sold off without their permission. I was of course in no way obligated to return said items to someone who "claimed to be a relative" and they usually stopped pushing the issue when I would inquire about a police report on said items and that was the end of that...

    One other thing that you may want to consider.. When you post items on the internet for all to see, it's out there for everyone to see and which can also invite family members (supposed) of said items to try to reach out to you wanting the items returned to them again with the same accusatory threats of law suits and police intervention.. or you get the posers who claim to have a link to the family just because you may have something of interest to them, and either out of good intentions or fear of facing some type of legal recourse you send the items back...

    Several years ago I posted a set of rare wings on a forum and after a few months I was actually contacted by the daughter in law of the owner of the wings asking if I was willing to give them back. She joined the forum just to get in touch with me.... So after talking with her and her husband (the son of the mother who earned the wings) we came to an agreement. I still retain one pair of the wings but I returned one set to the family and it worked out,, but again it is rare that these situations end amicably and both parties are happy..

    Just some suggestions on trying to contact families and what may transpire...

    The Silver Star information that I provided came from the Hall of Valor website that lists many of the Valor award recipients...


  4. #14


    Thank you for the reply. That is something I did not think of. I think I will have to learn to research by myself so I do not run into the problem you ran into. Thank you for the help

  5. #15


    Researching a Veteran can be both rewarding and challenging but once you find a few key hits about an individual it usually opens up lots of other potential. Research can be as simple as starting with GOOGLE and from there you may find lots of possibilities as well. It took me about 45 seconds to type the name of the Colonel into Google and I got the Silver Star hit. You will have to try different search techniques if one way doesn't work, try another. You have a good deal of information on the cover of the camera case to start with, You have the name, the Officer's serial number and the USAF connection. Now since you have that as a start in WW2 the Air Force was the Army Air Corps, so if you type Colonel Sherwood's name into google try "Colonel Sherwood US Army Air Corps" or after 1947 the Air Corps became the US Air Force so try "Colonel Sherwood, US Air Force" or something like that... You may get some hits...

    There are some excellent researchers here who out of the kindness of their hearts post things they find on veterans free of charge... Normally a professional researcher would charge up to $20.00 an hour researching someone.. keep that in mind.. Vance and AZPhil are some of the best researchers I know on here and they have also helped me out numerous times... (THANK GUYS)…

    You may want to consider if you haven't thought of it already is becoming a paying member of our forum. It would be appreciated by those who do research for free and it would go to good use in maintaining the forum.

    Due to the COVID pandemic right now the National Archives Records Administration or NARA is not running at 100% capacity. They are only handling emergency cases and other situations as they come up. NARA would be the best place to start your research on the Colonel once the pandemic is over. I made a tutorial on how to fill out the forms to request records from NARA.

    See this link: A Tutorial on how to search for US Service Members Records from the National Archives (NARA), FOLD3, and are some good places to also do research but these are also websites with associated fees, but once you join you have almost unlimited access to records (depending on what type of package you sign up for of course). I have the international membership for ancestry which helps me research relatives from Italy and my wife's family from Germany. FOLD 3 is a decent site that also is linked with Ancestry but you don't have to join ancestry, you can join FOLD3 alone if you want, but they do offer some discounts if you enroll in both. Most (but not all) of the information that you find on ancestry will be on FOLD3 (If it pertains to mostly military information, so keep that in mind)..

    There are also private researchers who have access to records that may be difficult to get through the mail and the only way to obtain them is to actually set up an appointment and go to NARA. (But again with the COVID this option is suspended indefinitely from what I understand). A research company that I had do some research on my grandfathers brother who served in Italy in WW2 did a remarkable job and his fees were quite reasonable for the amount of information I obtained. GOLDENARROW RESEARCH is a great organization. Geoff Gentilini is a great person and his researchers are top notch. See the link I attached for his organization: Golden Arrow Research - Research a Veteran

    So I hope this helps you out a little more and gives you some ideas on how to research, not the only way, but some ways of maybe getting some hits.

    Good luck and don't hesitate to ask for more assistance.

    Best regards


  6. #16


    Thank you for the reply! I will consider. Thank you

  7. #17


    and sometimes, the family just doesn't give a crap about any of that stuff.
    I had a neighbor who was a ww2 vet and after his passing, his grand daughter
    moved into his house. She pretty much through out anything related to him or
    ww2 service. She had absolutely no respect what so ever.
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  8. #18


    Some wise advice about contacting family members. This is a fairly common occurrence. The reason militaria is on the market at all, is usually because some family member sold it. Maybe recently maybe decades ago. Other family members may regret that sale. So contacting descendants might stir up a hornets nest.

  9. #19


    Quote by Anderson View Post
    Some wise advice about contacting family members. This is a fairly common occurrence. The reason militaria is on the market at all, is usually because some family member sold it. Maybe recently maybe decades ago. Other family members may regret that sale. So contacting descendants might stir up a hornets nest.
    + One on that !
    Also another thing I have found is that photos can create many problems & issues , by bringing out skeletons in the closet .
    Just add a nice young woman with a handsome young soldier or officer together in a photo and you have the makings of a real S-fight if the lady in question isn't someones Mother or Grandmother .
    Photos don't lie , they tell part of a story . But not the full real one .
    Cheers Rick

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