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HELP ARMY DUers!!!! Messy resting place for fallen(?) soldier......

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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:13 PM
Original message
HELP ARMY DUers!!!! Messy resting place for fallen(?) soldier......
I am on vacation in Williamsburg and we took the Jamestown/Scotland Ferry and on the way back stopped to take pictures of a dilapidated little cemetery. As soon as we got out of the car, we noticed that it was an African American Cemetery that had provided a final peaceful place for two or three families, but was in HORRIBLE disrepair.
BUT.... in the back corner of the cemetery I found the grave of a man who had obviously served in WW2. He had a marker that had his name, rank, unit, state and year of demise. I found no other personal marker.
Pvt. Langhorn Watson
Virginia
542nd. Service Engineering Battalion
December 15, 1942

I tried to post a pic and I will... but I can't get my photobucket to work.

I don't know these things:
Is that where he wanted to be buried.... with family instead of brothers?
Is the marker I saw in fact from the Army? .....in which case,.... it isn't enough.
Don't this man and his family deserve an "Army Clean-up" of that cemetery?

How do I find out more?
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. I can't help you
but I'll give ya a kick
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Try contacting...
...the local VFW, American Legion, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, local paper, etc.

There might be plenty of volunteers right around there, if they only knew about it.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Genealogy List
There are a lot of people in those areas who clean up cemeteries. A lot of genealogy list volunteer to do things like that. Maybe you can post a message on the country for Williamsburg and tell the people and they can help. People think genealogy buffs are just self centered about their own families. Not true. They volunteer and help at times.
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Marnieworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. I googled like crazy
http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/WW2.HTM
AFRICAN AMERICANS IN WORLD WAR II


Here is a link to a page with a lot of other links. I tried to determine the policy of the burials and cemetaries for fallen African American soldiers from WWII but I couldn't find anything specific but maybe you can. SInce the units were segregated I wouldn't be surprised if they were buried separately.

The world is better with caring people like you. :hug:
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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. My searching got me.... Fort Dix
Thanks for the hug... but remember we dems don't support our troops. ;-)
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. Given the time, the place, the name, the unit,
it was most likely a segregated cemetery. His family may have had no choice, if indeed he had any NOK to speak for him. If he was from the area, there should be an official notice in a local newspaper.

Rest in peace, Pvt Watson and thank you.

:patriot:
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TX-RAT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. "Army Clean-up" of that cemetery?
Edited on Tue Apr-03-07 03:49 PM by TX-RAT
Not their responsibility. That responsibility lies on the remaining family members. In my case, the Army will provide a flag for my coffin, a headstone for my grave, and an Honor guard will provide pallbearers, present my wife with the flag, perform a 21 gun salute and play Taps. My family will be responsible for the up keep, from that point on.
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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I'm going to email Hampton University.....
Maybe I could get the help of student volunteers
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MethuenProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Was there a flag holder?
After 65 years, there's a very good chance he has no near-by family left to tend his grave, and considering the local ecology it wouldn't take more than a few years for a small cemetery to become overgrown. This Memorial Day he'll probably have a flag placed on his grave, holder or not.
Thanks very much for keeping his memory alive by telling us about your visit to his gravesite.
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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. No Flag holder....
.... and I hope that you're right.
I may have to come out and do it.
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Cabcere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
11. Shout-out from Williamsburg!
:hi: You picked a good time to come down here - the weather's been lovely for the past few days (relatively low humidity, lots of sunshine, etc.). Hope you're enjoying your vacation! Sorry I can't help you re: the Army soldier, though. :(
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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. We didn't come far... from the southside.... norfolk.
But GOD YES! what a stunning three days.
We couldn't have ordered up better days.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. Contact these guys, though they're probably busy with OIF/OEF
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. Some soldier's families want them buried in the family cemetery instead of
Arlington. His family may have chosen - or he may have let them know that is what he would want if he were killed.

As for the clean-up, I think you should contact local churches, VFW, and so forth. If I were nearby I would help - I love cemeteries - sounds strange, but it is true. I like the peacefulness and to see a cemetery that is well cared-for or that has appropriately gone back to nature makes it feel as if the dead have been "tucked in" so they can rest.

I really appreciate your caring for this man.

:hug:
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. Not sure about where you live...
but here in Indiana, it is the responsibility of each individual township government
to take care of these old cemeteries. They clean up, mow, repair stones, etc...

You may want to give them a call to see if it is the same in your area.
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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-07 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Personally, I live in Norfolk, Va..... the graveyard is in Surry....
which DOES NOT have a good history with race relations.
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