Willis S. Cole
A Non-Profit Corporation, Washington State, U.S.A.
Site Specific Research Examples
On July 10, 1916, a soldier was captured in a trench on the outskirts
of the small village of Contalmaison, France. He was sitting in the trench
with his head in his hands when he heard a noise and looked up to see
two soldiers with bayonets on their rifles looking at him. He was close
to the artillery position he had sought and found unmanned. His fears
had been right, the British had captured the position and now the trench
he was in. For he was a German soldier!
At the request of a visitor to the museum, the Director searched through
his books and maps. Finding the artillery location and the trench on the
trench maps of the area he was able to take pictures of the artillery location
and the trench area to show the person who made the request. The visitor'
father had belonged to the German Army in World War One and later
immigrated to the United States.
The Research Request asked about locating "Uncle Lonnie's
death." The person was able to work with the Director to find the required
information, such as date of death and unit of service. With that basic
information, the Director was able to trace the unit's activity that day and
locate a probable place of death for Uncle Lonny within a 1/4 mile area of
a village in France.
A request was made to find the place where a relative had been
during a battle in France. With information searched for with the Director's help
the man's unit and date of death was determined. That Director was able to
locate the unit to within a very small area that day in France. With that data
the Director laid out a proposed vacation route and view point where the
person could stand and overview the fields where his lost relative was killed
and perhaps the dead soldier lies there still under the fields of France.
An WWII American aviator had been executed by the Germans when
had been captured while trying to evade capture. The Director had watched
him leave for Europe and combat when the director was only 4 1/2 years old.
After locating the sites of the events leading to the flyer's death, the Director
visited the village and the local sites of the flyer's execution as well as supplying
the village Mayor with a display picture of flyer, supplied by his son, listing all
the information required to duplicate the Director's research, as well as telling
where 1st Lt. Richard F. Noble grew up, his parents and his wife's and son's
names. In the village cemetery is the grave of the R.C.A.F. Flight Officer that
was executed with Lt. Noble.
Return To The Museum's Front Page:
This Page Last Updated: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 10:26