UAV Historic Overview...
Ukrainian American Veterans, Inc., was founded in 1948 by World War I and World War II veterans of Ukrainian descent who served in the US Armed Forces and were honorably discharged. Although some posts established by Ukrainian American veterans were formed prior to 1948, they were not organized on the national level. They were created because these veterans felt the need to be identified as veterans from a specific ethnic group, thus ensuring that the designation “Ukrainian American veterans” was represented in the annals of US military history. Most of these pre-1948 posts became an integral part of the UAV.
However, such recognition was hard to achieve and ethnic identity was hard to prove. The complexity of the history of Ukraine, which was marked by occupations and enslavement by other nations, created an “identity crisis” for Ukrainian immigrants to the United States, who were haphazardly and inaccurately assigned new nationalities—Russian, Polish, Austrian, Hungarian, Soviet, etc. American casualties during WWII were high; more than 400,000 Americans who served on the European and Pacific fronts perished. But because of the immigration policy of designating stateless Ukrainians as members of other ethnic and national origin, to this day, we do not know how many of those who fought and died in the U.S. military were of Ukrainian descent.
After World War II, many Ukrainians found themselves in foreign countries, often in Displaced Persons camps in Europe. The United States of America, Canada, Australia, and countries in South America accepted many post-WWII émigrés. For those coming to the United States, the dilemma continued – ethnicity was determined by country of birth (Germany, Belgium, France, etc.), and establishing accurate statistical demographics of Ukrainian immigrants became a complicated issue. That issue still exists, which is one of the reasons the UAV Registration Project is so valuable.