Stories Behind the Stars: The World War II Fallen


Speaker: Jackie Menasco

The Stories Behind the Stars project
(see is a national effort of volunteers to write stories for each of the 421,000 individuals who were killed while serving in the US military during WWII.

This presentation will introduce this volunteer initiative as well as share tips and resources for researching and writing life sketches that will permanently remember those who served.

Jackie Menasco – Bio

Jackie Menasco is a retired science educator who lives in Peoria, Arizona. Although she and her husband grew up in Oklahoma, they have lived in Arizona since 1979. When Jackie retired after 40+ years in science education, she began researching and writing about her family history. Whether it’s discovering her Acadian exile ancestors (Cajuns) or unlocking closely guarded family secrets, Jackie enjoys sharing stories of her ancestors at WVGS “Writing Family History” SIG meetings, contributing articles to the Desert Tracker, as well as posting stories on her personal blog.

After listening to a WVGS membership meeting presentation two years ago, Jackie volunteered for the “Stories Behind the Stars” project. Since then, she has researched and written more than 30 life stories of soldiers killed in World War II. Jackie also served as a Co-Director of the Pearl Harbor Project which included coordinating with volunteers to research, write, and post life stories for the 2,341 servicemen who died in the attack. Although the Pearl Harbor Project has been completed, Jackie continues to maintain the Pearl Harbor fallen database and contribute stories of other WWII fallen servicemen and women.


In-person meetings are held at the First Presbyterian Church located at 12225 N. 103rd Ave., Sun City, AZ. (click here for map) – will open in new tab in your web browser)

Please arrive after 12:30 pm to sign up for classes, SIGs, or the 2022 Seminar, ask questions of a Board Member or Committee Chairperson, etc. Note: We will not be offering coffee at this time.

The short business meeting will start at 1:00 pm sharp followed by our featured speaker.

2022-2023 Monthly Meeting Speakers

West Valley Genealogical Society