Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who were Ben Kaber's parents?

I received an email several weeks ago from a man in The Netherlands who has adopted the grave of Ben Kaber, a young American Army soldier who died in Europe on 22 February 1945 during World War II. Here is Ben's gravesite in Henri-Chappelle American Cemetery in Belgium:

My correspondent asked for help in finding out more about Ben's life and family - especially a picture if there is one available.

I've searched some of the "usual" Internet sites and have found only:

* entries in four databases, in the WW1, WW2 and Korean War Casualty Listings; U.S. rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945; World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Deceased Overseas; and U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1945.

* has three newspaper articles in 1944 from Greeley, Colorado that show his enlistment.

* I could not find him in the 1930 US census with a family.

* I could not find him in the Ancestry family trees with a family.

From the military records, we can glean that:

* Ben Kaber was born in 1926 in Colorado, probably in Weld County
* He resided in Mahaska, Iowa before enlistment
* He was white, a US citizen, single without dependents, and a Catholic
* He enlisted at Fort Logan, Colorado on 24 April 1944

Does any reader have any suggestions for further research? I wonder if:

* Are there newspaper archives for Weld County, Colorado in 1945?

* Are there newspaper archives for Mahaska County, Iowa in 1945?

* Are there birth certificates available for Weld County, Colorado? It appears that one must be a relative to request one in Colorado.

Any help will be appreciated by myself and my correspondent.


owlhart said...


On Ancestry, there's a private tree with the name Benigno Kaber, born 1926 San Pedro Colorado.

Keith Hart

Randy Seaver said...

Thanks Keith,

I missed that one...sure looks like it fits. I emailed the owner of the tree.

Great catch - Randy

Sharon said...

Ben is in the 1930 census as Benigno Lucero in Costillo County, CO with his father Charlie Lucero and his mother Rumalda (Lobato) Lucero. Ben has some siblings living today in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, including the two that are on the 1930 census: Charlie Ernesto and Adelmo.
I pieced this together from bits and pieces that people had in online trees, miscellaneous records at including a 1971 Greeley newspaper article that mentions “Charley Kaber.” Dr. Ronald Maestas, a scholar at the New Mexico Office of the State Historian and the author of several articles in the Colorado Genealogist, would be a good person to contact for information on the Lucero/Kaber/Lobato line.
There is a story that Charlie Kaber/Lucero was a survivor of the Titanic. The story seems to be that his German parents died in the sinking and he was adopted by the Lucero family. The adoption part may or may not be true, however, there was nobody named Kaber on the Titanic.

Jeff said...

Ben Kaber was my Uncle on my fathers side. His parents names are Rumalda and Charlie Kaber. Ben was my fathers oldest brother he died in Europe during WWII. He has 8 living siblings.

Jeff Kaber

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Jeff,

Thank you so much for commenting on this post. I hope you check back and read this! If not, I'll look for you on the Internet.

Would you please contact me via email at I would appreciate it.

I would love to connect you with Simon Voogt who takes care of Ben's gravesite in Belgium.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards -- Randy

Anonymous said...

Charles Kaber Lucero is my Grandmother's Great Uncle by adoption adopted by Ramon and Juanita Lucero of San Luis CO. Ben Kaber (Lucero) was Charles' son. Jeff or anyone else here please find me at I am doing more research on the Orphan trains and it appears that Charles is an Orphan train child.