Missourian Melvin Carl Anderson was born in 1912 and by 1930 his family moved to Omaha, Nebraska. When the United States entered World War II, he enlisted in the army. In November 1944, Sergeant Anderson was part of Co. C, 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, supporting the fighting near Grosshau, Germany. Two tank destroyers and six tanks were destroyed, including Anderson’s. On December 21, 1944, Anderson was categorized as killed in action and his name was inscribed on the Wall of the Missing, Netherlands American Cemetery. He was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, posthumously. U.S. investigators later found the remnants of a tank destroyer by Grosshau; it contained unknown remains that were interred at Rhone American Cemetery. New DNA technologies have allowed the Defense POW/MIS Accounting Agency to identify remains such as those of Anderson. He was reburied in Omaha National Cemetery on October 12, 2018.
Born in 1925, Jean Annette Briggs grew up in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk County, England. One of three girls, she was a talented artist who attended school in Cambridge. In 1943, at 18, she joined the Royal Navy and her family believed she drove a bus during World War II. Briggs actually operated a BOMBE machine, used to decode German military messages, and worked for master codebreaker Alan Turing. The secret ULTRA project cracked Germany's ENIGMA code. Briggs married U.S. Army Air Corps pilot John Watters (1917-2018) after the war. He flew B-17s, and later the U.S. Air Force colonel served in Korea and Vietnam. The couple raised six children in Bellevue, Nebraska. Jean Briggs Watters died September 15, 2018, and was buried with British military honors. She is interred with her husband in Omaha National Cemetery (Section 3, Site 253).
Wilfred Louis Ebel (1930-2018) was the fifth director of what is now the National Cemetery Administration, from 1987-1989. The Nebraskan served in the U.S. Army during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Ebel received military commendations including the Legion of Merit and Distinguished Service, and he was inducted into the Senior Army Reserve Commanders Association Hall of Fame in 1995. As a civilian, he held appointments in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush administrations. The Memorial Affairs program at VA became the National Cemetery System during his tenure. Ebel oversaw the development of Florida and Fort Mitchell (AL) national cemeteries, transfer of a state veteran cemetery into the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, and the opening of three state cemeteries. He remained connected to NCA until his death. Ebel died July 3, 2018, and is buried in Omaha National Cemetery (Section 1, Site 854).