Faces of the Vietnam War: Lives of fallen soldiers celebrated on virtual wall

  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund was set up in 1979 to remember the Americans who lost their lives during the conflict
  • The result was the 'Faces Never Forgotten' memorial which has become known as The Wall in Washington
  • Photographs of the servicemen and women have now been uploaded to an online database
  • The memorial fund are hoping to have a photograph for every service member who died by 2015

By Tara Brady

PUBLISHED: 06:35 EST, 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 07:10 EST, 12 November 2013

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For 30 years a campaign group has been tirelessly gathering photographs of the 58,286 American servicemen and women who died during the Vietnam War. 

Based in Washington, D.C. the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund was set up by a group of veterans who wanted to create a memorial from the American people for those who lost their lives during the conflict between 1965 and 1973.

The result was the 'Faces Never Forgotten' memorial - also known as The Wall - which shows the sheer magnitude of American casualties and serves as a place where family and friends of those who lost their lives can remember their loved ones.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bobby Joe Martinez from N.M., who is honored on Panel 58E, Row 23 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sgt. Martinez was killed on May, 11, 1968 the province of Quang Tin Province, in South Vietnam

U.S. Army Sgt. Bobby Joe Martinez from N.M., who is honored on Panel 58E, Row 23 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sgt. Martinez was killed on May, 11, 1968 the province of Quang Tin Province, in South Vietnam

U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. James Michael Moore, from Albuquerque, N.M. Pfc. Moore is honored on Panel 25E, Row 74 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He was killed on August 3, 1967, in Quang Nam in South Vietnam

U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. James Michael Moore, from Albuquerque, N.M. Pfc. Moore is honored on Panel 25E, Row 74 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He was killed on August 3, 1967, in Quang Nam in South Vietnam

It has become one of the most visited memorials in the U.S. with an estimated 4.5million annual visitors a year. 

'Putting a face to every name is momentous,' said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of VVMF. 

'These men were real people, who had dreams and aspirations just like the rest of us. When you look at them you can truly humanise what The Wall represents.'

The mission of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is to preserve the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and to educate people about the impact of the war.

Sgt James A Hardman was 21 when he was killed in action in Tay Ninh province in November 1968. The soldier was from Alameda County, California, and is honored on panel 38w, row 36 of the memorial

Sgt James A Hardman was 21 when he was killed in action in Tay Ninh province in November 1968. The soldier was from Alameda County, California, and is honored on panel 38w, row 36 of the memorial

Captain Jeremiah Frederi Costello is honored on panel 1W, row 117 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He was born in 1943 but was shot down on a combat mission in Cambodia in May 1975. He won a silver star and the distinguished flying cross

Captain Jeremiah Frederi Costello is honored on panel 1W, row 117 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He was born in 1943 but was shot down on a combat mission in Cambodia in May 1975. He won a silver star and the distinguished flying cross

Pictured is Thomas Joseph Murphy who died during the Vietnam War. For several years, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has pursued a 'Faces Never Forgotten' campaign to gather photographs of the 58,286 who died during the war

Pictured is Thomas Joseph Murphy who died during the Vietnam War. For several years, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has pursued a 'Faces Never Forgotten' campaign to gather photographs of the 58,286 who died during the war

Ssgt Lester J Brantley from Portsmouth was 33 when he was killed in action in Binh Duong province in August 1969. He is honoured on panel 19w, row 76 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Ssgt Lester J Brantley from Portsmouth was 33 when he was killed in action in Binh Duong province in August 1969. He is honoured on panel 19w, row 76 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The group is still raising money for an education centre which will display more than 400,000 items that have been left in tribute at the base of the wall since it opened. 

It is hoped the education centre will open in 2015 but in the meantime a searchable database has been created online which features a photograph of every service member who died during the conflict for The Wall of Faces memorial as they come in. 

A lot of the photographs are military pictures but the group would like family and friends to send in every-day shots of their loved ones.

Col. Warren Leroy Anderson, who served in the Air Force, is honoured on panel 6e, row 135 on the memorial. The 33-year-old, from Hillsdale County, in Michigan, was declared missing in action

Col. Warren Leroy Anderson, who served in the Air Force, is honoured on panel 6e, row 135 on the memorial. The 33-year-old, from Hillsdale County, in Michigan, was declared missing in action

AMH3 Richard Thomas Pinta was just 21 when he was killed in action in July 1967. The young man from Suffolk County was in the Navy and is honoured on panel 24E, row 39 on the memorial

AMH3 Richard Thomas Pinta was just 21 when he was killed in action in July 1967. The young man from Suffolk County was in the Navy and is honoured on panel 24E, row 39 on the memorial

Sgt Merritt Adams, from Cumberland County, died in action in Binh Dinh province aged just 19. He is honoured on panel 7w, row 51 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Sgt Merritt Adams, from Cumberland County, died in action in Binh Dinh province aged just 19. He is honoured on panel 7w, row 51 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

LTJG David Charles Brostrom was one of only seven members of the U.S. Coast Guard who was killed in action in 1966. The 25-year-old is honoured on panel 9e, row 126 on the memorial

LTJG David Charles Brostrom was one of only seven members of the U.S. Coast Guard who was killed in action in 1966. The 25-year-old is honoured on panel 9e, row 126 on the memorial

Major Bernard Ludwig Bucher from Woodford County, Illinois, was declared missing in action in Quang Ngai in 1968. He was 46

Major Bernard Ludwig Bucher from Woodford County, Illinois, was declared missing in action in Quang Ngai in 1968. He was 46

SSGT Horace Earle Young from Mercer County, Illinois, served in the U.S. Army and died in 1965 aged 33

SSGT Horace Earle Young from Mercer County, Illinois, served in the U.S. Army and died in 1965 aged 33

Tim Tetz, director of outreach for the memorial, told The Charlotte Observer: 'That picture tells a different story than the one in his (uniform) on the first day of training.

'It will drive home that that's who served and sacrificed in the war'. 

It is believed the Memorial Fund has photos for about 32,000 of the 58,286 service members they are looking for. It is its aim to have every photo by the time the education centre opens next year. 

So far only New Mexico has managed to gather a photograph for every one of its soldiers.

SP4 Jimmie W Boggs, of the U.S. Army, from Marlow in Oklahoma, died in action in Long An province in 1968 aged 23. He is honoured on panel 44W, row 14 on the memorial

SP4 Jimmie W Boggs, of the U.S. Army, from Marlow in Oklahoma, died in action in Long An province in 1968 aged 23. He is honoured on panel 44W, row 14 on the memorial

Captain Terry Lee Ketter, of the U.S. Army was from Exeter, California and died in action in May 1970. He was 29. He is honoured on panel 10W, row 12 of the memorial

Captain Terry Lee Ketter, of the U.S. Army was from Exeter, California and died in action in May 1970. He was 29. He is honoured on panel 10W, row 12 of the memorial

PFC David Culp Jr. from Pineville in North Carolina served in the U.S. Army and was killed in action in Kontum in 1968 aged 19

PFC David Culp Jr. from Pineville in North Carolina served in the U.S. Army and was killed in action in Kontum in 1968 aged 19. He is honoured on panel 47E row 9

SP4 John Eugene Leis, known as the Little Farmer to his comrades, died in Quang Tri in 1971 aged 20. The soldier in the U.S. Army from from La Crosse in Wisconsin

SP4 John Eugene Leis, known as the Little Farmer to his comrades, died in Quang Tri in 1971 aged 20. The soldier in the U.S. Army from from La Crosse in Wisconsin

SP4 John Eugene Leis, known as the Little Farmer to his comrades, died in Quang Tri in 1971 aged 20. The soldier in the U.S. Army from from La Crosse in Wisconsin

SP4 John Eugene Leis, known as the Little Farmer to his comrades, died in Quang Tri in 1971 aged 20. The soldier in the U.S. Army from from La Crosse in Wisconsin

HM1 Bernard Gause Junior was declared missing in action but his remains were brought back to the U.S. and he is burued in Birmingham, Jefferson County.

HM1 Bernard Gause Junior was declared missing in action but his remains were brought back to the U.S. and he is burued in Birmingham, Jefferson County. The 34-year-old was in the Navy and is honoured on panel 1W, row 130 of the memorial

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Francis Xavier Nava, originally from Santa Fe, N.M. Cpl. Nava is honored on Panel 10E, Row 77 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Francis Xavier Nava, originally from Santa Fe, N.M. Cpl. Nava is honored on Panel 10E, Row 77 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was killed on September 8 1966 in the province of Quang Tri in South Vietnam

By Staff 11/12/2013 00:10:00