(MCT) -- Georgia Military College is searching for alumni for an online project honoring graduates who served in the past seven American wars.
So far, the Milledgeville-based school has 80 alumni listed in its newly created online database of “fallen soldiers.”
Though the database is primarily honoring graduates, Jane Simpson, the college’s special collections librarian, said the project has been expanded to include students, faculty members and instructors who have fought since World War I.
“The project as it stands right now is incomplete, but we are hoping that our alumni and friends will help us find all graduates, students and faculty who served in the armed forces, because these men and women have made great sacrifices for our country,” Simpson said.
Simpson said the project began taking shape five years ago when school archivists came across a bronze plaque that listed alumni who were killed in World War II.
From there, the database took off, she said, with archivists researching every trophy, yearbook and newspaper clipping they could find to honor all graduates who had died in the armed forces.
As of Wednesday, the database included 10 graduates who served in World War I; 62 in World War II; and eight in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. None has been found from the Korean and Gulf wars.
“We gathered quite a bit of information,” said Simpson, who said she believes the school has only hit the tip of the iceberg.
According to school records, 2,035 GMC cadets were active in the armed forces during World War II, and 46 gave their lives. Of those, 1,175 served in the Army, 435 in the Navy, 105 in the Marines and 100 in the Merchant Marine. The branch of service of the others is not documented.
Simpson said she has sent letters to alumni to verify the identities of other graduates who should be listed but finding Augusta alumni who served in earlier wars could be tricky because the school did not establish its local campus at Fort Gordon until 1968. GMC moved to Martinez in 1999.
“We call it our GMC family,” she said of the project. “And we’ll keep looking.”
©2014 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.