How many World War II fallen are buried at Arlington National Cemetery?
For more than seventy five years nobody knew the answer.
Now thanks to the efforts of more than three dozen volunteer researchers for the non-profit initiative Stories Behind the Stars, we have a good idea.
As of Veterans Day 2022, the number of WWII fallen buried or remembered with cenotaph graves in Arlington National Cemetery is 8,299.
We started with a list of 1941-1946 burial names provided to us by Arlington National Cemetery, augmented by additional names provided by the remembrance organization Find A Grave.
These volunteers spent more than a thousand hours going through these names one by one, excluding those who did not serve in World War II, and adding basic information to the database.
The list is now ready for other volunteers to write the stories of all of these fallen, so the 4 million people who visit Arlington National Cemetery every year can approach any of their graves and read their stories via a free smartphone app.
So far, more than 120 volunteer writers have completed more than 3,000 stories of the Arlington WWII fallen. We would like to finish the rest by Memorial Day 2023. Help spread the word about this grassroots project!
What do we know so far about these 8,299 WWII fallen buried at Arlington?
At least 40 were younger than 18 years, with one only 15 years old.
At least 10 were older than 70 - probably still in the service due to some special skill.
There are 36 fallen who died in the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.
There are 60 fallen who died on June 6, 1944, the day of the D-Day landings.
While most of the fallen were born in the US, more than 100 were born in 35 other countries.
Pennsylvania has more WWII fallen buried at Arlington than any other state with more than 1,200.
Preliminary results show 72% are in individual graves, 20% are in group graves, and 8% are remembered with cenotaph graves.
It only takes 2-3 hours to research and write a story of one of these heroes. Participation is free and free access is provided to Ancestry.com research sites. To request more information about joining this historic project, visit https://www.storiesbehindthestars.org/volunteer.
Here are the volunteers who helped with this first-ever database of the Arlington National Cemetery World War II fallen:
DATABASE SECTION DIRECTORS
Karen Baker, Arkansas
Sonya Bayles, Georgia
Liesl Bradner, California
Lee Braswell, Colorado
Tricia Castille, Louisiana
Brad Cychosz, Wisconsin
Dennis Dupras, Alaska
Becky Fox, Georgia
Teri Fronk, Utah
Molly Green, North Carolina
Kathy Harmon, Pennsylvania
Lois Healen, Ohio
Kirstin Howard, Utah
Kerry Huffstutler, Alabama
Christy Johnson, Tennessee
Valerie Jones, Oklahoma
Jeff Joyce, Virginia
Mary Alice & Wade Keller, Florida
Debi Lehman, Oklahoma
Don Milne, Kentucky
Marilyn Murphy, Wisconsin
Eden Palmer, Illinois
Mary Peterson, Minnesota
Jenna Rabtzow, Colorado
Al Schutte, Ohio
Linda Simpson, Oklahoma
Susan Singleton, Illinois
John Sise, Pennsylvania
Julie Sohlberg, Colorado
Ronalee Summers, Utah
Pamela Tilson, North Carolina
Melodye Whatley, Connecticut
Elaine Young, Utah