BRADENTON -- Archie Don Clemons is faceless no more.
Clemons, a 1940 graduate of Bradenton High School, later renamed Manatee High School, is one of the more than 10,000 Americans interred at the Netherlands American Cemetery near the town of Margraten.
The townspeople of Margraten are seeking to honor each of the American men and women in the cemetery, all of whom lost their lives during World War II, by obtaining their photos.
Until this week, Army Tech. Sgt. Clemons was among about 7,000 for whom no photo had been found.
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Clemons was killed in action April 8, 1944, on a World War II bombing mission.
The Bradenton Herald published a story this week about Clemons after the The Faces of Margraten project reached out to the newspaper for help,
In response, Cindy Russell, historical records librarian, for the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court, obtained a 1940 year book from Clemons' classmate Wirt Shelton, and provided a photo to the Herald.
The photo shows a young
man full of promise, whose yearbook inscription reads: "It's foolish to hoard love or wealth; they lose who never give."
The Herald has uploaded the photo to the The Faces of Margraten project in The Netherlands.
"We have been impressed by all the support for the project so far," said Sebastiaan Vonk, chairman of the Foundation United Adopters American War Graves, which is organizing The Faces of Margraten tribute.
"Many of the graves' adopters, the soldiers' relatives, veterans, and others have contributed by submitting a personal photo of a soldier in the past months, all joining us in remembering these brave men and women, finally putting a face to the names of our liberators."
Clemons, son of Mrs. Marie Clemons of Bradenton, served with the 68th Bomber Squadron, 44th Bomber Group, Heavy.
Clemons family members or classmates may contact the Bradenton Herald with their memories at email@example.com.