Looking for Military record of private Walter C H Johnson (Nr. 39467536, born in 1913), deployed in Belgium in 1944.


I am Bob D'Espallier and live in Belgium. Last weekend, My brother found a dogtag of an American serviceman in The Ardennes (roughly 15-20 miles from Bastogne). His name is Walter C H Johnson (private, Nr. 39467536, born in 1913, Spokane county, Washington).

We found some basic information online (enlistment details from 1943 in Spokane, Washington, and that he was married), but can't find whether he lost his life in Belgium, if he survived the second world war and information about his relatives. If possible, we would love to send this back to his family as this might have some emotional value to them.

I look forward to your feedback.
Best regards,

Bob

Parents
  • Hi  ,

    Thanks for helping us with our search. It is impressive how much you found on such short notice.
    I reached out to some military researchers, but it quickly turned to a discussion about the cost of the research.
    Therefore, hats off to you to do this out of pure interest & passion.

    In all honesty, we hoped for an other reaction, probably biased by our own take on this (i am a big fan of military history) and because, here in Belgium, people are very grateful and full of respect for the American (and all other off course) heroes that came to liberate our country. There are military cemeteries for WW1 & WW2 all over Belgium, which reminds us of the cruelties from the past. The dogtag, found by my brother, felt like an opportunity to pay our respect to him and his family, especially because it was them, the regular soldiers, who fought the war.

    But that is our view on this matter. We fully respect their opinion and reaction, because we don't know anything about him, his life, the impact of the war etc. To people in Belgium, he is a hero, but he might not have been to them. My brother and i really hope that they didn't assume that we wanted to ask money for it. We would have paid the shipment costs very happily. 

    We will contact the Bastogne war museum most probably and send it to them. This way, it will be stored and dealt with in a respectful way, and Walter Johnson will receive the gratitude for his actions on the Belgian soil.

    Thanks for your time and effort and please don't take this too personally, you helped us more than anybody else. It is heart warming how you wanted to help people getting in touch.

    Best regards,

    Bob & Yves D'Espallier

  • Thank you so very much for those kind words Bob, I was hoping for a different outcome as well...but, I suppose as it has been said for many many years, C'est la vie". But that aside, it still saddens me a bit.

    I hope all the best for you and your brother, thank you again for reaching out to us here, to try and do what you could for him. Please let me know down the road in time if the Bastogne museum was able to acquire his dog tag, as I think that would be absolutely lovely.

    My respect and thoughts to you both,

    Sincerely,

    Deanna

Reply
  • Thank you so very much for those kind words Bob, I was hoping for a different outcome as well...but, I suppose as it has been said for many many years, C'est la vie". But that aside, it still saddens me a bit.

    I hope all the best for you and your brother, thank you again for reaching out to us here, to try and do what you could for him. Please let me know down the road in time if the Bastogne museum was able to acquire his dog tag, as I think that would be absolutely lovely.

    My respect and thoughts to you both,

    Sincerely,

    Deanna

Children
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