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  • Don Milne

Volunteers Needed to Remember All 8,000 Kentucky WWII Fallen

Updated: Nov 12


William Walker Ford of Kenton County was one of the first 60 Kentuckians to die in World War II during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and also one of the youngest.

His father was a World War I veteran who died when William was nine. William never made it to age 20. He was killed and is entombed in the USS Arizona Memorial. The war would claim another 8,000 Kentuckians before it ended.


Last year the non profit initiative Stories Behind the Stars attracted more than one hundred volunteers who researched and wrote stories about everyone of the 2,341 American servicemen who died at Pearl Harbor. All of these stories are saved to a common database so they can be easily retrieved.


You can read William’s story here.


The mission of the non-profit initiative Stories Behind the Stars is to find volunteers to write a short obituary style story about everyone of the 421,000 US WWII fallen. When completed, these stories can be accessed for free via smartphone app at any gravesite or memorial. This short video shows how it works.


Over the past two years nearly 1,000 volunteers, from all 50 states and more than a dozen other countries, have written nearly 21,000 stories of these World War II fallen. Our goal is to complete the remaining 400,000 stories by September 2, 2025, the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II. This project has been in the news more than 100 times, including a front page Memorial Day article in Louisville’s Courier Journal.


We are seeking Kentucky volunteers to write the stories of the remaining 8,000 Kentucky WWII fallen. On average, it takes 2-3 hours to research and write each story. We provide free training and access to research sites. It will only take about four dozen people, averaging one story a week, for us to complete every Kentucky WWII fallen’s story.


If you would like to learn more about helping, visit www.storiesbehindthestars.org.


If you don’t consider yourself a writer, but would still like to help, there are other things to help with such as working to compile the first accurate Kentucky WWII fallen database available to the public.


If you have any questions, contact Don Millne at don@storiesbehindthestars.org.

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