by Discount Bluehost

8,500 soldiers now have a face

Published: Sunday, December 11 2022

Last weekend, a photo of U.S. soldier John C. Webb was found. He is one of the over 10,000 soldiers who are buried in or memorialized at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, the Netherlands. Webb is the 8,500th soldier to whose name volunteers have been able to put a face. The search for the 1,400 photos that are still missing, which have proven to be the toughest cases, will continue.

WEBB John C MAR B 5 20 02origineelPrivate First Class John Coulson Webb is born in London, Canada, in 1925. The family moves to the city of Detroit, Michigan, a few years later. They naturalize and become U.S. citizens. That’s why Jack, as family and friends called him, enlists to serve in the U.S. Army. He is assigned to the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The paratrooper jumps over the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden, which began on September 17, 1944. Three days after the start of the operation, Webb is killed. After having initially been buried in the temporary American Cemetery Zon, Jack finds his final resting place in Margraten.

Webb’s photo was found thanks to the successful efforts of Michigan-based volunteer Sue Linton to connect with Webb’s family. In an ultimate effort, family members gathered to go over old photo albums and happened to finally find a picture in a wedding album of his oldest sister. “I could almost hear Sue’s sight of relief all the way over here in the Netherlands,” said chairman Sebastiaan Vonk of the Fields of Honor Foundation, which has initiated The Faces of Margraten project. “She had said, like several other volunteers, that it had seemingly become impossible to find new faces. And indeed, the toughest cases are left to research. Likely, some pictures will not have survived the 77 years that have passed since the end of the World War II. But let’s not forget what we have achieved: when we started in 2014, we not even had 2,000 pictures.”

The Faces of Margraten project literally puts a face to the U.S. soldiers remembered in Margraten by decorating their graves and their names on the Walls of the Missing with a personal picture every two years. This last happened in 2018, when ‘only’ 5,850 faces were on display. It is not yet known when the faces will return to the cemetery. The global pandemic has forced the project to postpone the tribute at the cemetery twice. Moreover, the cemetery administration currently prioritizes the completion of the new memorial center that is constructed on the site and which is scheduled to open in 2023. However, one can look up all faces in the Fields of Honor – Database.

The Webb family will visit Jack’s grave in 2024. 


Would you like to contribute to keeping the memory alive? By donating just 12.50 dollars, you will enable us to give a face to one soldier. You can directly donate 12.50 dollars via your credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below. Click here if you want to read more or donate another amount. Thank you for your support!