Having served in the U.S. Army, I’m always checking to see if any of my former “Battle Buddies” have lost their lives. This has led me to look for the names and records of soldiers lost in other conflicts. The American Battle Monuments website is one of the better sites.
Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC manages 24 overseas military cemeteries, and 26 memorials, monuments, and markers. Nearly all the cemeteries and memorials specifically honor those who served in World War I or World War II.
The sacrifice of more than 218,000 U.S. servicemen and women is memorialized at these locations. Nearly 125,000 American war dead are buried at ABMC cemeteries, with an additional 94,000 individuals commemorated on Tablets of the Missing.
Records are easily available – simply search by: War, Soldiers Name, Cemetery, State of Origin, or Unit
ABMC maintains several databases, including:
- Those interred at the American World War I and World War II cemeteries overseas.
- The missing in action from World War I and World War II who are memorialized on Tablets of the Missing within the cemeteries and on three memorials in the United States.
- Those killed worldwide during the Korean War.
- War dead and veterans of the Mexican War, Civil War and Spanish-American War who are buried at the ABMC cemeteries in Corozal, Panama and Mexico City.
- The missing in action of the Vietnam War memorialized at the Honolulu Memorial.
- All interments at Corozal American Cemetery, including civilians who built and operated the Panama Canal.
Here are two exampels of what you may find
World War II
Ernest H. Anderson
Captain, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # O-725397
772nd Bomber Squadron, 463rd Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered the Service from: Washington
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
Unknown City, Alaska
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Service Number 39950756
Died while Prisoner of War
Died February 4, 1951 in Korea
Sergeant Harris was a member of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy in Korea on November 26, 1950 and died while a prisoner on February 4, 1951. Sergeant Harris was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Written by Dale R. Meitzler