Second World War: 1939-1945

                Plane in flight over the fields of France

 Douglas Boston, Operation Jubilee.

Dieppe, France.
Source

​The Second World War took place from 1939 to 1945. It was the third major conflict Canada participated in and over 45,000 Canadian lives were lost. 

Important Note: Resources described on this page cover the years from 1939 to 1945. There are no access restrictions on the service files for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who died in service.

For all other service files, access restrictions apply; for more information, consult: How to obtain copies of services files

Open Records: Canadian Armed Forces Members who Died in Service

The military service files include documentation about enlistment, discharge, military units served with, and may also include other documents concerning medical history, medals awarded, personal evaluation reports and dental charts.

There are no access restrictions on the service files for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who died in service between 1939 and 1947, including those killed in action, those who subsequently died of injuries related to service and those who died as a result of accident or illness while in service.

To identify a military service file for these individuals, you can search the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead database: explanations about how to order a copy of a file are also provided.

Records not Held by Library and Archives Canada

Rejected for active Canadian Armed Forces service on medical grounds

Library and Archives Canada does not hold military personnel records of these individuals. These records are no longer in existence; they were destroyed under a Treasury Board Authority, dated 7 May 1964.

Called up for Canadian Armed Forces service during the Second World War (1939-1945) but never enrolled

Library and Archives Canada does not hold military personnel records of these individuals. These records are no longer in existence; they were destroyed under a Treasury Board Authority, dated 7 May 1964.

Pacific Coast Militia Rangers

These military personnel records were never placed in Library and Archives Canada's custody, and it is our understanding that they no longer exist.

Members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who enlisted for active service but did not go overseas,

Newfoundland Forces (Artillery, and Forestry Corps), Navy and Royal Air Force (Newfoundland Enlistments) all during Second World War (1939-1945)

For records of these individuals, you should write to:

The National Archives of UK
Ruskin Avenue
Kew, Richmond
Surrey TW9 4DU
United Kingdom

Service with the Sea, Army or Air Cadets

Records of these individuals have not been placed in Library and Archives Canada's custody.

Individuals are encouraged to contact the Cadet Corps or Squadron to which they were a member of to obtain their Cadet Personnel Record (if available).

Cadet Personnel Records are only kept until the date at which the Cadet reaches the age of twenty-five. After that time, in accordance with the Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAOD) on the Management of Record Information and the Treasury Board Policy on the Management of Government Information, these files are destroyed.

If you were a Cadet and have not reached the age of twenty-five and the Cadet Corps or Squadron to which you were a member was unable to provide you with your records, you should write to:

Chief Reserves and Cadets - Public Affairs
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0K2
CANADA
Tel: 1-800-627-0828
Fax: 613-996-1618
E-mail: cadet-info@forces.gc.ca

Published Sources

External Links to Other Institutions