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  • Writer's pictureDon Milne

Finding all of the WWII Fallen buried in Arlington National Cemetery Section 12

The section in Arlington National Cemetery with the most WWII fallen graves is Section 12. If it was its own state the 2,910 names would be more WWII fallen than any of these 15 individual states - Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Thanks to the valiant efforts of dozens of volunteers, under the direction of Section 12 Director Linda Simpson of Oklahoma, everyone of these fallen Americans will have a story that the 4 million annual visitors to Arlington National Cemetery can read at their gravesites for free using their smartphones.

Imagine going from gravesite to gravesite and reading the individual stories of each of these fallen heroes. The Arlington National Cemetery experience will never be the same.

Here are just a few men buried in section 12:

PVT Joe S. Austell joined the army at age 15 by lying about his age. He became a paratrooper and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was killed in Operation Varsity, the final airborne operation in Europe. He is buried at Section 12, Plot 3861. His story was written by Pat Bruwer.

PFC Clarence N. Clark lost his father at age 13. He joined the Marines shortly after Pearl Harbor and joined the 1st Marine Division. He fought at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and died on the first day of the Battle of Peleliu. He is buried at Section 12, Plot 1782. His story was written by Catherin Hutchins of New Jersey.

COL Gustav B. Guenther was a career military officer for more than 25 years. He was a US military attache at many European capitals in the 1930s. During the war he was a high ranking Office of Strategic Services officer. He was killed in London when a V-1 flying bomb hit the church he was attending. He is buried at Section 12, Plot 713. His story was written by Gretchen Dahlen of Wisconsin.

1LT Lionel N. Sceurman learned to play the saxophone and was a championship swimmer when he was young. He was a B-17 pilot who completed eight bombing missions. The day before Germany surrendered (VE Day), he was flying a mission to drop food supplies in Holland when his plane crashed in the North Sea. He is buried at Section 12, Plot 1303. His story was written by Stephanie Young of New Jersey.

CPT Joseph B. Traywick came from a family of doctors (grandfathers, father, father-in-law, son). He served as a battalion surgeon for nearly two years beginning in North Africa. CPT Traywick was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. He was in a forward position to provide timely medical attention to the wounded. He was wounded, refused to be evacuated, and was killed by artillery fire later the same day. He is buried at Section 12, Plot 2544. His story was written by John Rutherford of Virginia.

With the completion of this final section, there will be more than 8,700 stories of the US WWII fallen buried at Arlington National Cemetery. With the help of current and additional volunteers, our goal is to make sure all 421,000 US WWII fallen have their stories written.

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