Military History/Father's unit WW2

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I believe that I have arrived at a dead end concerning my search for my Father's unit in WW2. He entered the service late, in 1943, I think (I don't have what limited information I posses in front of me at the moment) was trained, and may not have entered combat until late 1943 into earlier in 1944. He served in the Pacific, and was either at Leyte or Luzon, and on the main Island, and may have been in the push on manila. From a couple of bits of information I found on the net, (and can't find now) the only two units that seem to match with where he was and when, I believe that he was in the 40th Div, or possibly the 7th. I know after the war ended, he was in Korea for a time before returning stateside. According to the Records center, his records burned, and I can't find anything anywhere. His name was Max H Gholston, and he entered service in Wichita, I think. He was enlisted, and I think he ended his service as a corporal, and was a grunt, then on a BAR, then was a clerk as nobody else could type. Any info would be appreciated, or even pointing me in the right direction. I have tried Ancestry.com, the Military records center, and all over the place online. I do know that he received a disability, and I think he was treated at the VA in OKC, but don't know how to access any info there or if they will tell me anything. I have been looking for years. My Father And I didn't wee eye to eye on most things, and unfortunately, were not close. When he passed a few years ago we had not spoken in some time. I would really like to find out what I can so that I can make a display to honor his service. I collect military insignia so I may have what I need at this point in time. Thanks in advance for anything you might find or point me to. Robert

Answer
Well first, you need to figure out whether he was in the Army or Marines.  You didn't mention above which it was.

Next I'd try to find any photos of him during the war, and you might be able to gain some clues from what he was wearing or where the photo was taken.

Third, I'd contact a reference librarian at a UNIVERSITY library, not your local public library.   University librarians are awesome, they can dig books out of the stacks you never would have found on your own.  You should do some research and try to make a list of all the different units that were on those two islands.  

After that, I'd get on the internet and see if there are any survivors groups/reunion groups/history groups for those divisions.   Email them and see if they have any lists of members of their units or anything like that.   It will be like hunting a needle in a haystack but you might just get lucky.  They often have newsletters and such, maybe you could get them to put an ad or notice which states you are looking for info about Max Gholston, and someone might remember your Dad.

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Jim Saurman

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I can usually handle any question on USA or European history since 1870. I am especially interested in WW2 and Spanish-American War. Also Spanish Civil War and WW1 to a lesser extent.

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B.A. in History.

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