Historian Tracking Numbers of U.S. Servicepeople Buried Overseas

Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:10am

The PBS NewsHour reports that “we don’t know how many Americans who died while serving during wartime are buried on foreign soil. Why? For one, there isn’t a single organization that tracks the burials. There is no database of every American service member buried overseas. And the reason why there is no database is because finding all of America’s war dead is a complicated process.”  

“While some are buried in formal memorial cemeteries, others are in private cemeteries, mass graves and isolated burial sites. Old records have been lost and new burials are being discovered. Women were not always counted among the war dead. Thousands of Americans fought under foreign flags before the U.S. entered the world wars, and are buried as foreigners. Those missing in action or lost at sea further complicate tracking. And some have just been lost.”  

“But one historian has been painstakingly counting, cataloging and mapping the locations of American war dead buried outside formal memorial cemeteries.”