Richland County resident 2d Lt. Albert Kurtz III is interred in the American War Cemtery in Margraten, according to Indianapolis history buff Teresa Hirsch.
A local genealogist recently sent a photograph to adorn his grave and allow the crowds that visit to see his face.
Hirsch reported, "Last year, people were so overcome to see the picture of their liberator for the first time, that they asked the team to make copies for them, an unexpected but happy byproduct from this."
Born in 1925, Lt. Kurtz lived on Elliott Street in Olney with his parents, Albert and Mildred, and two siblings. He attended Culver Military Academy, where today there is a memorial award for the best cadet below the rank of Captain. Lt. Kurtz was serving in the 15th Tank Battalion, 6th Armored Division, when he was killed April 12, 1945, in the vicinity of Theissen, Germany, less than a month before VE Day. The Purple Heart winner is buried in Plot K, Row 21, Grave 8.
Here are details on overall effort:
Town works to add faces to names as they honor American war dead
Thousands of white marble crosses and Stars of David, row after row. This is what one sees when overlooking the American War Cemetery in the town of Margraten, the Netherlands. The markers are testimony to the sacrifices made by many young American men and women for the freedom of Europe during World War II. Through The Faces of Margraten tribute in May of this year the Dutch will pay special tribute to these 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 has started a quest to locate more soldiers’ photos.
During the first edition of the tribute in 2015, a personal photo was available for a about a third of the 10,023 American soldiers buried in or memorialized at the cemetery. 25,000 grateful Dutch citizens came out to visit the tribute and to pay their respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of the Netherlands and other European countries. "The number of people that came out showed that people widely continue to recognize the importance of remembering those to whom we owe our freedom, even 70 years after the end of World War II. Moreover, the visitors' responses revealed that people were touched by the fact that they could look straight into the eyes of our liberators,” says Sebastiaan Vonk, chairman of the Foundation United Adopters American War Graves, which organizes The Faces of Margraten tribute.
However, thousands of photos are still missing. “Maybe you’re related to one of the soldiers, and have a photo tucked away in an album you haven’t looked through in years. Please look again, and if you find one, help us honor the sacrifices of thousands of other Americans by contributing the photo to The Faces of Margraten,” said Vonk. "Each photo matters, even if the quality is not great, because it means another soldier who will be honored," Vonk added.