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My Uncle Gordon - Not exactly sure where to start but I will tell you why I am here. My Uncle Gordon C. VanDeMortel second seamen US Navel reserves died August 15th 1944 at the landing site in Southern France. He is buried at Rhone Military Cemetery in Draguignan France.

What I guess I am wondering is there anyone in this forum that may know Gordon or knew of him or just anything at all. All I really know is that he was killed in action and his body was never found.

My mother always wanted to go visit her brothers grave but passed away a fews years ago and never made it to France. I myself am going there in Oct. of 2010 and will pay my respects for all of my family at this time.

If anyone was to know anything it would be great to hear from you. My email is (removed for privacy - see note below) and my name is Greg.

Thanks so much to all of you and god bless

Gregory R. Wild

That's a pretty tall order, but don't give up; things do turn up!


The Navy had thousands of men in the ETO. We would have to narrow it down to somewhat and find out what ship he sailed on, etc.


Do you have any pertinent info such as serial number, state of birth, when he enlisted, etc. Have you contacted anyone at the cemetery to see what is inscribed on this grave stone?


Let me know,


Oh, just a heads-up - Never list your email in public on the web. Any member wishing to get in touch with you can click on your USERNAME, post a reply, PM you in private, or contact me as a go-between. I have removed your email address from your post. Any public email is inviting SPAM attacks or worse. Thought you should know.



Thanks Marion,

Well yes I have contacted Rhone and the reply was good news. I do know he is in SEC A row 1 grave 19 so this was accurate as to what I did know for sure. As far as Gordon I had the letter from the War Dept. sent to Grandma with his MIA status, and then the letter to inform her of his death. Somehow it has dissapeared. But I do know his grave says Seamen Second Class Gordon C. VanDeMortel. his birthdate is april 27th 1926. I believe he had only been in the service for 1 year so i would say he entered the Navy in 1943. As far as a ship he was on this is what I would like to know, I know this is tall thats why I am here. I will tell you that going to France next year is going to be something I will never forget.


Good luck Greg in your search.

I imagine that the Navy must have daily reports like the army did. Now that you know his date of death, maybe that would give you some kind of cross reference and you could find out a little more about him that way.

Hello Greg, welcome to our forum family.

It may not seem like a lot of info on your uncle, but it should be enough to get started on the research & i think we may be able to help you out here, i had a few uncles in the navy & i got some navy sources to dig up when i get home tonight. I can get a list of ships damaged on 15 Aug 44 but that may be the hard way to narrow things down.

One question: what state was Mr. VanDeMortel from?

Good luck Greg in your search.

I imagine that the Navy must have daily reports like the army did. Now that you know his date of death, maybe that would give you some kind of cross reference and you could find out a little more about him that way.

I am honored to be on here, truely my honor!!! My uncle Gordon was from New York born and raised. Ialso live in NY, not far from where he was born. Thanks so much for everything my friends your all true Americans and you have blessed us all with the most important thing in the world FREEDOM. Thanks


I have some preliminary research findings for you Greg. First is the correct name spelling as found in the record searchs on the ABMC & WWII Memorial websites, the name is VAN DE MOORTEL, second is his Service Number: 6092682.


G. C. Van De Moortel

Seaman, Second Class, U.S. Navy

Service # 6092682

United States Naval Reserve

Entered the Service from: New York

Died: 15-Aug-44

Buried at: Plot A Row 1 Grave 19

Rhone American Cemetery

Draguignan, France

Awards: Purple Heart


An ARC search for New York casualties at

State Summary of War Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel :


VAN DE MOORTEL, Gordon Charles; Seaman 2c, USN,

Parents, Mr. and Mrs Jacob Van De Moortel, 33 Wadsworth St., Geneva.


Time to pack it in for tonight, we`ll see what tomorow brings.

Larry, I was counting on you, and once again you came through with shining colors. GREAT! It's a start and we now have something to go on.


I am going to look through my books related to the landing. I believe one may have a list of ships. I'll let you know Gregory.

There is a wonderfully detailed book on the Southern France landing. It is called


Dragoon - The Other Invasion of France - author Paul Gaujac


There is a section, The First Onslaught Comes From the Sea, which you would probably find of great interest. Lots of photos too.


It's worth having in your collection, and comes highly recommended by me and many of the veterans who landed there.

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