Tec5. Gerard K. Duncan    

Mil# 20152748

Enlisted: 24 February 1941, Providence, RI

C. Company 643rd TD BN.




Tec5 Gerard K. Duncan in front of his Halftrack.


Info/photos received from;


Rob and Heath Duncan

Candice Hatfield-Roderick




Born: 23 November 1918     Place: New York

Died: 9 January 1945     Place: Reharmont (Belgium)

Date of Temporary Burial: 10 January 1945   at: American Military Cemetery Henri-Chapelle (Belgium)

Location: Plot: YY. Row: 2. Grave: 25.

Date of final Burial: 21 June 1948   at: American Military Cemetery Henri-Chapelle (Belgium)

Location: Plot: B. Row: 2. Grave: 7.


Father: James P. Duncan     Mother: Frances E. Duncan

  Last known address: Old Barrington Road, Postofficebox #26 East Providence 14, Rhode Island.


Siblings:  Elizabeth, Francis, Almira, Marry, Grace, James, Archie and George




Purple Heart 




TEC5 Gerard K. Duncan served just like Sgt. Michael DeFebio (adopted grave in Margraten) in the
643rd Tank Destroyer Battalion and both born in 1918 and came from the City Providence, Rhode Island.




22 October 2008


I received several 643rd Tank Destroyer Battalion newsletters from Joe Decaro.

"Article from Newsletter 643rd Tank Destroyer Battalion May 31, 2000."

 Bill Guether, sent this account of his memory of events that led up to the death of Carlton Schafer and Gerard K. Duncan.

 “As we rode in that open field, Schafer and I thought we would be safe if we walked. Schafer said I have a feeling I’m going to die. No sooner we got out of the halftrack we walked side by side. Just then the German tank hit our gun. Schafer got hit and died. I was not hurt. I ran back into the woods. Ahead of me was a bunker. As I ran toward the bunker, tanks were shooting at me coming very close to hitting me. They must seen me heading for the bunker. The next thing I found myself inside. I don’t know how I got in. I think someone is looking after me. Inside was a lot of smoke. No sooner I got inside I got tree burst. The tree burst should have killed me, but it didn’t. When the tree burst stopped I walked back to the halftrack. Gerard Duncan’s body was next to Schafer on the ground. They other men were o.k. They died at Reharmont, Belgium on January 9, 1945”




Gerard (right)


Gerard (under 2nd right)



Gerard's (Temporary) grave Location: YY-2-25


Gerard's (final Grave) Location: B-2-7



Gerard's (2nd) Temporary grave

Gerard's (2nd) Temporary grave


Duncan Family in frontyard of the Duncan homestead, Summer 1937

Back row: Archie Duncan, Betty Nash, Francis Olsen, Almira Duncan, Helen Duncan, Grace Duncan, Dorothea Duncan.

Middle row: Ted Nash, Rolf Olsen, James Duncan, Frances Duncan, Jim Duncan, George Duncan

Front row: Gerard Duncan, David Olsen, Mary Duncan




5 April 2013


Today I received several emails from Rob Duncan and some personel messages on my Facebook account. He lives in Florida, son of Robert Duncan, Heath's brother.

 He's the grand nephew of Gerard. Rob did sent me some great pictures of several item's from Gerard which were in the possession of his father Robert.



Gerard's buriel flag still in his original package






Another great photographed document I received from Rob




19 August 2012


After the search for addresses, phone numbers and email addresses I found Heath Duncan eventually on Facebook. Message sent ... but at first no answer came out, but there came a positive message back ...... Heath Duncan was Gerard's cousin and he was prepared to help me, but he himself had unfortunately no information and or pictures of Gerard.  However, he thought that his brother Robert living in Florida might have some information, he would ask him.



27 May 2012


Today I received a great email from Gerda Hermsen. Finally after years of searching probably she found family of Gerard. She had an obituary found on the internet of one Archie Duncan ... it turned out that he was Gerard's brother. There were also other relatives named in the obituary ... so the search could begin again. Unfortunately, all seeking recent years in Rhode Island was all in vain as far as I now known relatives no longer lived in Rhode Island. Now I started to concentrate on Heath Duncan  residing in Norwalk, CT.





17 August 2008

Received  several photo´s from John Defusco "Gerard's name on the wall of the Rhode Island WW2 Memorial in Providence" 




14 July 2008


Received Gerard K. Duncan's IDPF


Gerard's IDPF contained not that much info.... but still found some interesting information, such as Birthdate and Parents address


10 January 2008

Sent request for Gerard K. Duncan's IDPF



19 January 2008

Today I picked up my Adoption-Certificate at Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Belgium

First Certificate




Second Certificate



31 December 2007


Good news from Henri-Chapelle, requested grave was not yet adopted and assigned to me.


Dear Ben Savelkoul,

Your adoption for Gerard K. Duncan's grave has been granted. A certificate of adoption will be available at the office for you from 14 January 2008. We ask that you come and pick up your certificate by the end of the month of January. Thank you for your understanding.
In the name of the team of Henri-Chapelle I wish you a very happy new year.

Caroline Oliver

Cemetery Associate

Tel:+32 (0)87 68 71 73

Fax: +32 (0)87 68 67 17



26 December 2007

E-mail I did send to Henri-Chapelle American Military Cemetery, België.

Dear Readers,


A few years ago a adopted a grave at Margraten Cemetery.... It belongs to Michael Defebio he was a Sergeant, and he served at 643rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.

At HC cemetery there are 5 men buried that served at the same Battalion as Michael Defebio.

I want to adopted 1 of these 5 graves if they are not adopted already…. My special interest goes to Gerard K. Duncan grave because he’s just like Michael from Rhode Island.


New York




24 dec 1944




Rhode Island




9 jan 1945








23 Dec 1944








24 Dec 1944








14 Jan 1945





Greetings, thanks already……

Ben Savelkoul