Radio 2

Spotlight on US soldiers in Flanders Fields

The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ieper (West Flanders) has embarked upon fresh research into American soldiers during the Great War.  The museum will join forces with the Smithsonian Institute in Maryland (USA) and the US embassy in Belgium.  Some 80,000 US soldiers fought in Belgium from 1917 onwards and little is known about their presence.

The Smithsonian is the largest US research and museum complex.

A small monument in Kemmel and the American cemetery in Waregem remind us of the presence of US forces in Flanders Fields during the First World War.  400 US soldiers are buried in Flanders Fields.  A further 600 servicemen, who were killed here, were found a last resting place in the US. 

Dominiek Dendooven of the In Flanders Fields Museum: “Together we’re setting up a new app that will allow you to tread in the footsteps of American Great War soldiers, who served in Belgium.  They were not only present in the Ieper area.  The cities of Waregem and Oudenaarde, where US soldiers were also deployed, too will be involved.

After the research is completed an exhibition is planned.

“It will probably be a travelling exhibition that can be set up at various locations where US soldiers are commemorated” says Dendooven.

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