Thousands of white marble crosses and Stars of David, row after row, overlook the American War Cemeteries in Belgium and the Netherlands. Four of those crosses belong to Daviess County men – Patrick Leffler, Paul Reno, Hartford Worley and Donald Wilmot.
In 2016 Teresa Hirsch of Indianapolis, IN, alerted the staff at the Gallatin North Missourian about special efforts to memorialize America’s war dead. The project of placing photographs — putting faces to the rows of white cemetery markers — actually began in 2015 when over 25,000 Europeans visited the cemetery at Margraten. Now, through the efforts of volunteers in a non-profit organization, the project continues — to enable cemetery visitors, especially Belgium and Dutch youth “to look straight into the eyes of (their) liberators.”
In May, 2015, the Dutch paid special tribute to these American soldiers by decorating their more than 10,000 graves and names on the Walls of the Missing with personal photos of the soldiers. The project, called The Faces of Margraten, started a quest to locate more soldiers’ photos. The photos will be placed next to the headstones from May 1-5, when the Netherlands observes the 71st anniversary of its liberation. More information about the project can be found at www.thefacesofmargraten.com.
Patrick L. Leffler, a native of Gallatin, MO, is buried at the American War Cemetery Ardennes, Liege, Belgium. Paul D. Reno, Daviess County, MO, is buried at Henri-Chapelle, Hombourg, Belgium. Submitted photos as well as other information on the soldiers can be found in the Fields of Honor Database. This website is a project by the Dutch non-profit Foundation United Adopters American War Graves. It is the foundation’s mission to give a face to the names of the U.S. WWII soldiers buried in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Maybe you’re related to one of the soldiers or know a member of the family. It could be you were a schoolmate or a childhood friend. Maybe you have a photo tucked away in an album you haven’t looked through in years. Please look again, and if you find one, help honor the sacrifices of these area men by contributing the photo to The Faces of Margraten or the Field of Honor website.
Pvt. Hartford Worley
Date of death Dec. 31, 1944
- Born May 21, 1924, Grand River Township, Daviess County, Missouri
- Family: Hartford B. Worley (father)
Sarah J. (Troxell) Worley (mother)
Jasper Worley (brother)
Owen Worley (brother)
Ida E. (Johnson) Worley (sister)
Genova B. (Duncan) Worley (sister)
Oren Worley (brother)
Wilma J. (Becker) Worley (sister)
Sarah W. Worley (sister)
Apha A. (Cole) Worley (sister)
Paul E. Worley (brother)
- Regiment 121st Infantry Regiment, Battalion Not available, Division Transport 8th Infantry Division, Service Number: 37745180
Sgt. Donald Wilmot
Date of Death March 13, 1945
- Born 1920, Missouri
- Family: Joseph E. Wilmot (father)
Opal (Carter) Wilmot (mother)
Norman L. Wilmot (sister)
Nancy S. Wilmot (sister)
Iva D. (Terry) Wilmot (wife)
- Regiment 117th Infantry Regiment, Division Transport 30th Infantry Division, Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart, Service Number 37135734, KIA at Kapellen, Germany
- Grave Number: Plot K, Row 14, Grave 21 in American War Cemetery Margraten
Sgt. Patrick L. Leffler
Date of death April 20, 1944
- Born Sept. 16, 1924, Gallatin, Daviess, Missouri. Hometown Los Angeles, Calif.
- Family: Walter Leffler (father)
Ellen Leffler (mother)
- Radio Operator/Ball Turret Gunner, Division Transport 1st Air Division, Company Squadron 613th Bomber Squadron, Unit Group 401st Bomber Group, Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart, Service Number 39291617, KIA Near Pont Remy, France on a B-17G mission to Bois Coquerel, France
- Grave number Plot A, Row 33, Grave 56
Pvt. Paul Reno
Date of death: Dec. 23, 1944
- Hometown: Daviess County, Missouri
- Family: Christopher C. Reno (father)
- 3rd Battalion, Division Transport 82nd Airborne Division, Company Squadron G. Company, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, Service number: 37515411, Awards: Purple Heart, KIA in Belgium
- Grave number: Plot A, Row 15, Grave 13. First buried at Block LL, Row 6, Grave 113.