Unknown American soldier, alone more than 100 years, is finally buried with his brothers

| June 8, 2023

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, France

Get a tissue ready, allergy season just arrived.

Army Times has the story of the first Unknown to be buried from the Great War since 1988. He’s the first burial at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery (not pictured, but I bet it looks a lot like this) in more than 90 years. It’s an amazing story.

After 105 years, the remains of an American doughboy were finally given a proper burial.

Today, the American Battle Monuments Commission, alongside French and U.S. officials, interred its first Great War unknown since 1988 — the first burial at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France since 1932.

On February 8, 2022, local undertaker Jean-Paul Feval was digging a fresh gravesite in the cemetery at Villers-Sur-Fère, in northeastern France, when he stumbled upon “human bones, along with artifacts that would later include pieces of a helmet, a stretcher, a trench knife and a corroded, unreadable dog tag,” according to a Washington Post report.

The stretcher was a particularly unique find.

“During the fighting they tried to get rid of the bodies as soon as they could,” Bert Caloud, the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery’s superintendent, told The Post. “They would roll them up in ponchos. They’d roll them up in blankets. They could carry them on stretchers.

“My guess is he was dead, and what was left of him was put on a stretcher,” he added.

For the past year French and American officials have worked in tandem to verify beyond a reasonable doubt that the remains found were, in fact, American.

While the identity of the American soldier remains unknown, it was determined that he was killed in July 1918 around the fight for Villers-Sur-Fère.

According to Mike Knapp, the commission’s director of historical services, the “archeological artifacts gave a good indication” that this was the gravesite of an American soldier. However, Graves Registration Service maps created in 1919-20, now housed at the National Archives, helped to verify the location of the American gravesites from the Great War.

“He’s been by himself for over 100 years, and finally we can give him the dignified and honored burial that he rates,” Caloud told the Post.

Buried with a Purple Heart and given full military honors, the unknown soldier joins 6,012 of his comrades — 597 unknowns — where they already rest.

His gravesite reads, “Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But to God.”

The ABMC, which was started in 1923 by President Warren Harding to honor U.S. World War I dead overseas, “operates 26 cemeteries on foreign soil where 123,000 service members from World Wars I and II are buried, and thousands of others are memorialized,” according to The Post.

The soldier’s discovery “is an extraordinarily big deal,” said Knapp.

“Here we are … 105 years after this guy died and … he’s getting a full honors, military funeral just like some veteran would get today at Arlington,” Knapp continued. “I think that says a great deal.”

There’s more background at the link. We might not know who he was, but we know he was American. Take your place in formation, soldier, and rest easy.

Category: Historical, No Longer Missing, We Remember

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2 minute video about the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery.

Alfred Joyce Kilmer, who wrote the poem “Trees” is buried there.

He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the 69th Infantry Regiment (the famous “Fighting 69th”) in 1917. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31.

Thank You, Mason, for sharing.



“In April 1917, a few days after the United States entered World War I, Kilmer enlisted in the Seventh Regiment of the New York National Guard. In August, Kilmer was assigned as a statistician with the 165th Infantry Regiment (better known as the re-designated “Fighting 69th”, the 69th New York Infantry Regiment), of the 42nd “Rainbow” Division, and quickly rose to the rank of sergeant. Though he was eligible for commission as an officer and often recommended for such posts during the course of the war, Kilmer refused, stating that he would rather be a sergeant in the Fighting 69th than an officer in any other regiment.”

“During the Second Battle of Marne there was heavy fighting throughout the last days of July 1918. On July 30, 1918, Kilmer volunteered to accompany Major “Wild Bill” Donovan (later, in World War II, the founder of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency) when Donovan’s battalion (1–165th Infantry) was sent to lead the day’s attack.”

“During the course of the day, Kilmer led a scouting party to find the position of a German machine gun. When his comrades found him, some time later, they thought at first that he was peering over the edge of a little hill, where he had crawled for a better view. When he did not answer their call, they ran to him and found him dead. According to Father Francis P. Duffy: “A bullet had pierced his brain. His body was carried in and buried by the side of Ames. God rest his dear and gallant soul.” A sniper’s bullet likely killed him immediately. According to military records, Kilmer died on the battlefield near Muercy Farm, beside the Ourcq River near the village of Seringes-et-Nesles, in France, on July 30, 1918, at the age of 31. For his valor, Kilmer was posthumously awarded theCroix de Guerre (War Cross) by the French Republic.”


“I think, really, the moral of the story here is that this American was killed in this region liberating it from oppression — and instead of being bones on an aluminum table waiting for some evidence to see who he is, he’s being laid to rest with the guys who fought with him,” Caloud said. “He slept with these guys, he fought with these guys, he suffered with these guys. And now after 100 years, he’s being buried with them. Every Memorial Day, we’re going to lay flowers and plant flags at his grave and raise the American flag over his casket every day.”


Getting somewhat dusty in here. Probably all that Canadian wildfire smoke…


“To signify the alliance between France and the United States, two young children then placed long-stemmed white roses on the soldier’s casket — a French boy and an American girl. After they placed the flowers upon the casket, the girl said, “We will never forget.”

“At the ceremony’s conclusion was a flyover by a World War I-era biplane. Other attendees also placed white roses on the casket to signify a connection between the unknown soldiers buried at Oise-Aisne in France and those buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.”


Rest In Peace.


Never Forget.

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Prior Service

American: “Here lies in honored glory an American Soldier known but to God.”
German: “Unbekannter Soldat” (Unknown Soldier). Says a lot about our two counties.

RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace.


“…time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”

General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing.

Rest Easy, Good Sir. We Salute you and Pay Honors to your Sacrifice.

Account for them all.

Never forget!


Rest in peace now Brother.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Damn it! I know you warned us, but still………
Where’s the kleenex?
Damned allergies.
RIP soldier.
See ya on the Eternal Parade Field.
(slow salute…..)


Fidelity to our men.