Henri-Chapelle Cemetery Project
How you can help honor the fallen
This project seeks volunteers to obtain as much information as possible on Minnesota soldiers buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium.
Nearly 8,000 Americans (192 from Minnesota) are buried in this cemetery, one of 20 in Europe administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The Minnesota Military Museum is supporting the project in collaboration with Prof. Kyle Ward of Minnesota State University, Mankato, who initiated it, and cemetery staff. The goal is to collect information about every Minnesotan interred at Henri-Chapelle as a way to honor them and their sacrifice during World War II.
Volunteers are being sought
Would you be interested in helping with this project? We need volunteers willing to try to track down any information they can about one or more of those fallen Minnesota servicemen. Materials gathered would go into a file created for each such serviceman. The information would help visitors, teachers, students, genealogists, or future historians learn more about who these men were—more than the basic facts found on headstones—but who they really were in life.
Materials that would be of interest:
- Military records
- Newspaper clippings
- Family stories
- Written account about the man’s time in service and/or the unit in which he served.
We are not expecting complete biographies or academic-style research, nor do you need to provide original documents.
To see the list of Minnesotans buried at Henri-Chapelle, click here.
How you can help
If you are interested in tracking down information about a specific service member (or service members), or if you prefer to have one or more names suggested to you, please email Kyle Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is not a problem to have people work on the same person, but by contacting him first, duplicated effort might be avoided.
Superintendent Bobby Bell emailed the following instructions for those interested in helping with this project. Mr. Bell said, “We would appreciate it if anyone who has relevant/interesting information to please scan and send it to us in a PDF or JPEG format to Henri-Chapelle@abmc.gov. This is the very best way for us to collect and store data for the future. When we receive this type of data, we print out copies and store in the Soldier’s file (upstairs in our archive room) and we also store the digital information on our shared American Battle Monuments Commission folder. Note: Soldier’s stories and information are likely to be shared with the Belgian Chapter of the American Overseas Memorial Day Association to help in honoring the memories of those who are interred and commemorated at this site. If someone chooses to share data with us, but doesn’t want it to be shared elsewhere, they need to include a statement saying this.”
Thank you for taking the time to consider this project and to help the world remember—and honor—these Minnesotans who fell in service to their country and were laid to rest in a foreign land.
Websites to help you conduct veteran research
The National World War II Museum
The National Archives
Ancestry (World War II Collection)