Are the remains of the war dead actually buried at the
overseas American military cemeteries?
the remains of American war dead are buried at these cemeteries. The interment
of remains of World War I and World War II war dead at permanent overseas
American military cemeteries was made by the American Graves Registration
Service, quartermaster general of the War Department. When the interment
program was completed the cemeteries were turned over to ABMC for maintenance
Do host countries charge rent or tax to use the land on
which ABMC cemeteries are located?
use of the land was granted in perpetuity by the host country free of charge or
Who was eligible for interment at the overseas American
for Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines, burial in ABMC cemeteries is
limited by the agreements with host countries to members of the U.S. armed
forces who died overseas during the wars. U.S. civilians serving with our armed
forces and Red Cross workers and entertainers serving the military were treated
as members of the armed forces for burial entitlement. The agreement with the
Philippine government permitted members of the Philippine Scouts and Philippine
Army units that fought with U.S. forces in the Philippines to be interred at
Manila American Cemetery.
Can discharged veterans of the World War I and World War II
be interred at the overseas American military cemeteries?
ABMC does not provide veterans’ interment benefits. Unlike the national
cemeteries administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, all permanent
American military cemeteries on foreign soil are “closed” except for the
remains of servicemen and women lost during World War I and World War II that
may be found on the battlefields.
What information is inscribed on grave markers at these
decedent’s full name, rank, date of death, unit, and state of entry into
How can I locate the interment site of a decedent interred
at an overseas American military cemetery?
website contains databases of the names of those interred or memorialized at
the overseas American military cemeteries and memorials. The databases can be
searched through the “Search ABMC
links in the navigation bar to the left. Inquiries also can be sent to email@example.com.
Why were the remains of some war dead repatriated to the United
States for permanent interment and the remains of other war dead interred
World War I and World War II, the interment of the remains of war dead was
carried out by the American Graves Registration Service, quartermaster general
of the War Department. At that time the next of kin, authorized to make the
decision regarding their loved one’s interment, was given the option of having the
remains returned to the United States for permanent interment at a national or
private cemetery, or permanently interred at the overseas American military
cemetery in the region where the death occurred.
Can the remains of war dead interred at the overseas
American military cemeteries be disinterred and repatriated to the United
States for reburial?
interments of World War I and World War II remains at ABMC cemeteries are
permanent. It is no longer possible to repatriate the remains of those interred
at these American military cemeteries. The program of final disposition of
these remains was carried out by the American Graves Registration Service,
quartermaster general of the War Department under the provisions of Public Law
389, 66th Congress and Public Law 368, 80th Congress. It entitled the
authorized next of kin to select one of the following alternatives:
- Permanent interment in an American military cemetery on foreign soil specifically
designed, constructed, and maintained in perpetuity as a memorial to
American war dead.
- Repatriation of the remains to U.S. soil for interment in a national cemetery.
- Repatriation of the remains to the individual’s homeland or that of their next of kin for
interment in a private cemetery.
provision of the law terminated authority to make further disposition of
remains after December 31, 1951, when the decision of the next of kin became
final. The program of final disposition of war dead established the moral and
legal obligation of the U.S. government to honor the expressed wishes of the
next of kin authorized to make the decision regarding the permanent interment
of their loved one’s remains.
How are war dead whose remains were non-recoverable or
unidentifiable commemorated at overseas American military cemeteries?
dead listed as missing in action, lost or buried at sea, or non-recoverable or
unidentifiable are commemorated individually on Tablets of the Missing at the
ABMC cemetery closest to the region where death occurred, and on three memorials
in the United States.
What information about the decedent is inscribed on the
Tablets of the Missing?
individual branches of the U.S. armed forces provided ABMC with rosters of
missing in action, or lost or buried at sea. The data inscribed on the Tablets
of the Missing includes the decedent’s full name, rank, branch of service or
unit, date of death, and state from which the decedent entered military
Why is the inscribed date of death of the missing in action
frequently different than the date on which the decedent was declared missing?
confirmed information to the contrary, a War Department Review Board
established the official date of death of those missing as one year and a day
from the date on which the individual was placed in missing status.
How can I determine if someone is interred or memorialized
on Tablets of the Missing at an ABMC cemetery?
and memorialization information for those interred or memorialized at ABMC
cemeteries can be found in the World War I and World War II databases available
on this website. These Honor Roll databases can be searched by name, unit or
state of entry into military service.
If the information in the database or inscribed on a grave
or memorialization site is incorrect, how can I submit the correct information?
the information you believe to be correct, along with copies of verifying
American Battle Monuments Commission
Clarendon Blvd., Suite 500
Will the government provide a grave marker for those listed
as missing in action, or lost or buried at sea for placement at a family
Department of Veterans Affairs administers the memorial marker program for
those listed as missing in action, or lost or buried at sea. Upon request by a
family member, and at no expense to the family, a memorial marker can be placed
at any national cemetery, including Arlington National Cemetery, provided space
is available. Memorial markers can also be placed at private cemeteries.
However, when markers are placed in a private cemetery, the family must pay
site and installation costs. Information about the memorial marker program is
available from the Department of
Department of Veterans Affairs
Attn: Memorial Programs
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420
Why can’t I locate certain names of war dead in your
databases contain only the names of those interred or memorialized at ABMC
cemeteries and memorials. These databases do not contain the names of war dead
returned to the United States for permanent interment at national or private
How can I find interment information for a decedent whose
remains were returned to the United States for permanent interment in a
national cemetery administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs?
is available from the Department of
Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration. Additional
information may be available from the following organizations:
casualties of World War I, information may be available from the National
National Archives at St. Louis
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO 63138-1002
casualties of World War II, information may be available from the Department of
the Army, U.S. Human Resources Command. This office administers the individual
deceased personnel files for all U.S. World War II dead, regardless of the
branch of service in which the decedent was serving at the time of death.
Department of the Army
U.S. Human Resources Command
Attn: Public Affairs
200 Stovall Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22332
Where can I find information regarding domestic cemeteries?
of cemetery interments by country, state
military cemeteries—are available online.
Where can I find information regarding a veteran who did not
die during the war in which he or she served?
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration holds the records of all
discharged military personnel. Veterans and next of kin of deceased veterans
can order copies of
Inquiries from individuals other than veterans and family members must be
submitted in writing to the National Archives and Records Administration.
Archives and Records Administration
Personnel Records Center
Louis, MO 63132
How can I locate a veteran?
does not maintain records relating to discharged veterans of the U.S. armed
forces. You might find the information you are seeking by placing an
advertisement in veterans’ magazines that have special reunion columns, or by
using “People Finders” search engines through the internet.
Where can I find listings of the casualties of a particular
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains online listings of casualties from
sorted alphabetically by state and location. NARA also has listings related to
prisoners of war.
Where can I find casualty statistics for all U.S. wars?
Department of Defense Statistical Information Analysis Division manages information about
How can I find information about awards and decorations?
personnel who served in the U.S. Army or Air Force (including the Army Air
Forces), the National Personnel
can verify awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with
verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of medals.
Mail your request to:
National Personnel Records Center
Medals Section (NRPMA-M)
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
How do I find information about my relative’s activities
while in military service?
should start by identifying the unit with which your relative served. If you
already have that information, then you should check for unit histories or look
into the official records created by the unit. If you do not know the unit, try
to obtain a copy of your relative’s military personnel records to determine
Where can I find information about a particular military
extensive unit history library is maintained by the U.S. Army Military
at Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pa. Some unit histories can be obtained
through the inter-library loan system. However, many of the unit histories are
not available for inter-library loan due to their rarity or condition. You may
also wish to investigate out-of-print or used military book dealers.
The U.S. Army Center of Military History also has information
regarding Army units.
Where can I find official Army unit morning reports and
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, National Personnel Records
Center is the official custodian of the records that have been retired by the
Where can I find information about the recipients of the
Medal of Honor?
the U.S. Army Center of Military History website.
Where can I find historical information about the armed
branch of the armed forces has a historical center at the following addresses:
Where can I find information on unit patches and insignia?
information on all heraldic items, flags, patches, insignia, etc., contact the Institute of Heraldry.
Where can I obtain court martial records?
the Office of the Clerk of the Court, U.S. Army Judiciary.
of the Clerk of the Court, U.S. Army Judiciary
North Stuart Street, Suite 1200
Are there any permanent overseas American military
cemeteries from the Korean or Vietnam Wars?
all recoverable remains from the Korean and Vietnam Wars were returned to the United
States for interment at national or private cemeteries.
How can I locate the burial site of Korean War dead whose
remains were returned to the U.S. for interment?
Department of the Army can provide the interment sites of Korean War dead.
Army Human Resources Command
200 Stovall St.
Alexandria, VA 22332
Are the war dead of the Korean War and Vietnam War that are
listed as missing in action, or lost or buried at sea, or unidentified
memorialized at an ABMC site?
the names and other personal data of the Korean War and Vietnam War missing in
action, or lost or buried at sea are commemorated individually by name on
Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial co-located with the National
Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (the Punchbowl) in Hawaii.
Can names of discharged Korean War veterans be included in
the Korean War Honor Roll database at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in
Korean War Veterans Memorial honors all members of the U.S. military that
served during the period of the Korean War, but the Honor Roll database
contains only the names of those who died world-wide during the war.
How can I provide an additional name or other information
and a photograph for inclusion in the Korean War Veterans Memorial Honor Roll?
information and photographs to ABMC.
Battle Monuments Commission
Clarendon Blvd., Suite 500
What government agency is responsible for accounting for
U.S. prisoners of war and missing in action?
best resource for researching American
prisoners of war and missing in action is the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing
Personnel Office. You can search a variety of databases related to these issues,
or you can call (703) 699-1155 or (703) 699-1199.
My family member was a prisoner of war or among those of
World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War that are listed as missing in
action. Is the Department of Defense attempting to reach family members?
the Department of Defense is requesting that family members contact the
casualty office for the branch of service in which the decedent was serving at
the time of being placed in prisoner of war or missing in action status. The
service casualty offices are compiling family member databases for use if
remains of missing are located. The military casualty offices can be reached
U.S. Army Human
1600 Spearhead Division Ave.
Fort Know, KY 40122
U.S. Air Force Casualty Service
Air Force Personnel Center
550 C Street West, Suite 14
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4716
U.S. Marine Corps
3280 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134
U.S. Navy Casualty
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-6210
Is ABMC involved with private memorials?
control the design and construction of U.S. military monuments and markers in
foreign countries by other U.S. citizens and organizations, both public and private,
and encourage the maintenance of such monuments and markers by their sponsors.
What are private memorials?
most ABMC purposes, a private memorial is a permanent war monument or marker
commemorating the sacrifices of the American armed forces erected by any
American person or entity. For purposes of the Memorial Trust Fund Program, it
does not include any memorial or marker erected by any agency of the U.S.
Government. A private monument generally has some architectural significance
(structure, sculpture, window, etc), while a marker is generally a plaque
attached to a building or other monument, or a simple object that marks a road,
route, boundary, or site.
What are isolated graves?
World War I and World War II, the next of kin of Americans who were killed
overseas were given the choice of what to do with the remains of their loved
ones. The remains could be repatriated for burial in a cemetery in the United
States, they could be buried in a permanent ABMC cemetery overseas, or they
could remain where they lay. While about 61 percent of the remains were
returned to the United States and 39 percent were buried in ABMC cemeteries,
several hundred families chose not to disturb the remains. These isolated
graves can be found in town cemeteries, the war cemeteries of our allies, or
even in the fields where they fell throughout Europe.
Why are many private memorials so run down?
receives no funds to maintain private memorials; we can only encourage
sponsoring organizations or local towns to maintain them. In many cases private
memorials are beautifully maintained. However, if there is no sponsoring
organization or if the local town does not take an interest, these monuments
can fall into disrepair.
What can ABMC do to help maintain private memorials?
have several programs to help maintain private memorials:
- The Private Memorials Trust Fund Program allows a sponsoring organization to set up a
trust fund with us and we then maintain the memorial for as long as there
are funds available in the trust.
- We can hire a caretaker for a sponsoring organization, using the sponsor’s funds, and
supervise the caretaker’s work.
- We can provide technical advice regarding the maintenance of the memorial.
- We maintain a database of private memorials that includes locations, sponsors, local
contacts, and maintenance status.
And, as a last resort, we have the authority to destroy
private memorials that fall into such disrepair that they become a safety issue
or an eyesore.