Joseph D. Griles

Serial Number – 33 850 125
Private,  393rd.  Infantry Regiment, 99th. Infantry Division
U. S. Army
Awards:  Purple Heart

Born:  13 November 1925 - Charlotte County, Va.
Entered Service: 30 March 1944 - Virginia
Died:  20 January 1945 - European Theater
Buried:  Netherland American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands
Plot E, Row 17, Grave 4


The regiment was constituted July 23, 1918 in the National Army as the 393rd Infantry and assigned to the 99th Division. It demobilized on November 30, 1918. On June 24, 1921, the regiment was reconstituted in the Organized Reserves (which later became the U.S. Army Reserve) and was again to the 99th Division (which later became the 99th Infantry Division), with its headquarters at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On November 15, 1942 the regiment was mobilized and sent to Camp Van DornMississippi. After subsequent training at Camp MaxeyTexas, the regiment was shipped to the European Theater of Operations. Following the conclusion of World War II, the regiment returned to the United States and was inactivated September 20, 1945 at Camp Patrick HenryVirginia, returning to its previous status as a reserve unit.

On October 29, 1998 the regiment was relieved from assignment to the 99th Infantry Division and on October 17, 1999 as the 393rd Regiment and assigned to the 75th Division (Training Support).

Shield:  The shield is blue for Infantry. The pairle reversed represents the Allegheny and Monongahela
Rivers going to form the Ohio River at Pittsburg, the location of the original unit. 
The castle is taken from the crest of the city coat of arms.

99th. Infantry Division Badge

Participated in:  Ardennes-Alsace Campaign (The Ardennes, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Nazi Germany) December 16, 1944 – January 25, 1945  ("Battle of the Bulge", also known as Ardennenoffensive, Ardennes Counteroffensive )

Margraten Netherlands American Cemetery 

The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. The town of Margraten was liberated by the US 30th Infantry Division on 23 September 1944. Not long after, the US Army requested a plot of land from the council to open a temporary cemetery for their war dead. On 10 November 1944, the US 9th Army officially opens the cemetery. The grounds are donated by the Dutch authorities "for eternity". Shortly after the war the decision was taken to turn Margraten into one of eight Parks where American casualties will be permanently buried. In the years following the end of the war, the 603rd Graves Registration Company is tasked with this mission. The company retrieves the bodies of American, German and other nationalities from field graves all over the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

In the late 1940's the families of the Americans are given the choice of having their loved one reinterred in a cemetery in the US or have them buried at Margraten. Almost 10,000 bodies are reburied in the US in the late 1940’s.

The cemetery site has a rich historical background, lying near the famous Cologne-Boulogne highway built by the Romans and used by Caesar during his campaign in that area. The highway was also used by Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. In May 1940 Hitler's legions advanced over the route of the old Roman highway. In September 1944, German troops once more used the highway for their withdrawal from the countries occupied for four years. 

The cemetery's tall memorial tower can be seen before reaching the site, which covers 65.5 acres. From the cemetery entrance visitors are led to the Court of Honor with its pool reflecting the tower. At the base of the tower facing the reflecting pool is a statue representing a mother grieving her lost son. To the right and left, respectively, are the visitor building and the map room containing three large, engraved operations maps with texts depicting the military operations of the American armed forces. Stretching along the sides of the court are Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded 1,722 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. 

Within the tower is a chapel. The light fixture in the chapel and the altar candelabra and flower bowl were presented by the government of the Netherlands and by the local provincial administration. Beyond the tower is a burial area divided into 16 plots, where rest 8,301 of our military dead, their headstones set in long curves. A wide, tree-lined mall leads to the flagstaff that crowns the crest.