1945: The cemetery grows rapidly

Bringing the bodies was an enormous task. Sometimes more than 500 casualties were delivered at the cemetery in one day. The men of 3136 Quartermaster Service Company (QSC 3136) who were digging the graves, could not manage the amount of work and sought assistance from the local population.

The bodies were buried in a body bag with no coffin, as it had been decided that a proper burial would take place at a later date. (In 1945 the decision had not been finally taken that Margaten would be the location of the cemetery) Of the two identity cards - dog tags– that every soldier had, one was buried with the soldier and the other was nailed behind the cross (or Star of David).

In January 1945 the Civic Committee Margraten Cemetery USA was founded (since 2002: Foundation Adoption Graves American Cemetery Margraten ), and they collected money for flowers, services and initiated the adoption of the graves. On Memorial Day 1945-30 of May, three weeks after Victory in Europe Day – Commander William Hood Simpson of the Ninth Army visited the cemetery and expressed his appreciation for the work done.

On July 1, 1945 the 611 Graves Registration Company (611 GRC) led by Captain Joseph Shomon was replaced by 603 GRC.

Video: Memorial Day 1945
the cemetery in 1945

Book: "From farm field to field soldiers' tells the story of the soldiers and local residents of Margraten who were involved in the construction of the cemetery.

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In 'Crosses in the wind', Captain Joseph Shomon his memories of the construction of the cemetery in writing.

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A Dutch woman lays flowers at the grave of an American soldier on Memorial Day 1945.
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