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Battlefield Tours

A visit to Margraten & Henri Chapelle American Cemeteries

A visit to Margraten & Henri Chapelle American Cemeteries

Yesterday with my friend Edwin from Battlefield Discovery we visited the two nearby American Cemeteries to pay our respects and visit our adopted graves.

Margraten American Cemetery

The court of honor at Margraten American cemetery with the statue of the weeping mother.

Early in the afternoon I drove to Nuenen to pick up Edwin and then we proceeded towards Margraten, in total about a 90 minute drive. For my American friends that is a normal shopping run but in the Netherlands it means you’ve drive through almost half the country. On top of that, when you get to the southern end of the Limburg province it suddenly gets hilly too so quite a change from the flatlands around my house.

Because we both guide for the National World War II museum’s Easy Company tour we put a flower on each of the graves of the men of that company. Below are some pictures of the graves we visited:

Raymond G. Schmitz

Raymond was killed in Veghel on September 22nd, 1944.

William H. Dukeman

William was killed in the Crossroads battle on October 5th, 1944.

James Diel

James was killed defending the bridge at Son on September 19th, 1944.

Robert van Klinken

Robert was killed in Nuenen on September 20th 1944.

James Moore

James was killed in the advance on Eindhoven on September 18th, 1944.

Robert Cole

Robert Cole was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Carentan, Normandy.

When at Margraten I always stop by the grave of Robert Cole, my first Dodge Adventures video was about him and when I did my first assignment for the Guild of Battlefield Guides it was about him too.

Henri-Chapelle

We then drove about half an hour to Henri Chapelle American Cemetery on the other side of the border in Belgium, here we visited the only member of Easy Company buried there as well as our adopted graves.

Richard Hughes

Richard was killed near Bastogne on January 9th, 1944.

Robert L. Morries

Edwin adopted the grave of Robert Morries, who was killed in Cologne, Germany on March 7th, 1945.

George W. Bonner

We then visited my adopted grave of George Bonner, sadly I did not bring a picture of him to put on the grave. George was a medic who was captured near Batogne on the 22nd of December, a day later he died under unknown circumstances.

Other graves

At the cemetery there were a number of information boards spread around the cemetery, I’ve never seen this at Margraten which I think is a missed opportunity. These boards make you visit graves and sections of the cemetery that you normally would never go to and provide background information about the soldier.

The graves of the Unger brothers.
Bernard Woodland was the only African-American who fought with the 82nd Airborne division, because he had light-skin complex he was able to join a whites-only unit.
Something I’ve never seen on an American cemetery before, a grave with multiple unknown soldiers.

Heading home

When we finished our tour of the cemetery it was time for us to drive back home, all in all it was a well spent afternoon visiting these cemeteries and honoring the men.

By Joris

My name is Joris Nieuwint and I will be your tour guide! Please allow me to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about what I've been doing over the past years. For the past 10 years I've been living in Veghel, and before that, I've lived in Arnhem for almost two decades. Living so close to the battlefields meant that Operation Market Garden always had my interest and I've been studying the battles for all those years. Sharing what I've learned over the years has been my passion and becoming a tour guide was one of my dreams. Keeping the sacrifices of these men alive by telling their stories and showing the locations where it happened is my greatest passion.

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