Recently Jim Jacobus, president of the Bluegrass Corvette Club of Lexington, contacted Katie Ellison, marketing director of the National Corvette Museum, to see if she could help him with a project.
Jim had heard of an organization whose goal was to place a photo on every fallen soldier’s European grave each year during the German occupation liberation celebrations. Jim felt that it would be a worthy service to locate photos of Kentucky soldiers who gave their lives for freedom.
Jim decided he would locate photos of Kentucky soldiers buried in the American National Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands. Jim says, “My Dad’s best childhood friend as well as my cousin are buried in Margraten. Every grave in the cemetery is adopted by a local group or resident.” When Jim started the project there were 56 soldiers with no faces. Two years later only 23 remain.
Jim contacted Katie at the NCM because he was looking for a photograph of Murl Gammel, a Warren County man who was killed in WWII and buried in the American National Cemetery. Katie asked her librarian mother Cara, a volunteer at Aviation Heritage Park, for some help.
Newspapers.com, a resource available through the Warren County Public Library, provided clues. News stories and Murl’s obituary were located in the Park City Daily News. All those clues lead to Chalybeate, a community in Edmonson County.
With the help of Regina and Ken Byrd, relatives of Murl Gammel were located and a photo sent to Jim. Locating the photo of a WW2 soldier was an honor and a pleasure. This small service has stimulated a new (irregular) feature on the AHP website and social media. We will be featuring photos and stories of veterans, hoping to spotlight their sacrifice and courage.
Look for this new feature on our Facebook and Instagram pages and our website under the Veteran menu item.