Medal of Honor Recipients
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Recipients receive the Medal of Honor from the president on behalf of Congress. It was first awarded during the Civil War and eligibility criteria for the Medal of Honor have changed over time.
Recipients buried or memorialized here:
Water Tender Laddie Stupka. He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Navy for actions on board the U.S.S. Leydon when the vessel wrecked, January 21, 1903. Stupka's citation was awarded under the name of Loddie. Stupka died in 1946 and is buried in the Distinguished Service Section, Site 1.
Horace Bivins (1866–1960) was born and raised in Accomack County, VA, on his parents' farm. He attended the Hampton Institute and enlisted in the army in 1887, where he served in the 10th Cavalry. Bivins' career as a Buffalo Soldier took him to the Southwest United States, Cuba, Philippines, and ultimately back to the East Coast. He retired briefly in 1913. As a commissioned officer in 1918, he rejoined the army to fight in World War I. Captain Bivins is remembered as one of the authors of the book Under Fire with the 10th Cavalry (1899) and as the army's first Double Distinguished shooter. The army's top marksman won 32 awards, including gold medals in carbine and revolver competitions. He received the silver star retroactively for "conspicuous gallantry" during the Spanish-American War. "Buffalo Bill" Cody reportedly tried to recruit Bivins for his Wild West show because of his shooting skills. Bivins married in 1904 and lived in Billings, MT, until 1949. Thereafter he moved to Philadelphia where his World War II-veteran son lived. Captain Bivins died December 4 and is buried in Baltimore National Cemetery (Section C, Site 753-W).
Hattie Carroll was born in 1911, and while her death made the national news, details of her life as an African-American woman are less recognized. She married James F. Carroll (1912–1987) in the 1930s. In February 1963 Hattie Carroll died after William Zantzinger, a white farmer, hit her with a toy cane. The mother of 11 and church leader worked part time as barmaid, that night at the Emerson Hotel in Baltimore, MD. Zantzinger, a guest at the hotel ball, swore at her and struck her because he did not think she served him quickly enough. He was sentenced to six months in jail on August 28, the same day Civil Rights advocates marched on Washington, D.C., and Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. Carroll was immortalized by musician Bob Dylan in the folk ballad, "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." Dylan's haunting song captured the racism that King sought to end. Carroll is buried with her World War II navy veteran husband in Baltimore National Cemetery (Section K, Site 40).
Robert Cole was born in Vermont in 1920. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and completed flight training in December 1944 during World War II. Flight Officer Cole served with the 99th Fighter Squadron until March 1946, and as the war ended he flew with other Tuskegee Airman in airshows throughout the United States. By the late 1940s Cole returned to Vermont where he worked as a shoemaker and flew planes from the Barre-Montpelier airport. The Tuskegee Airmen received the Congressional Gold Medal for their service in 2006. Cole's honor was posthumous. He died August 19, 1968, and is buried in Baltimore National Cemetery (Section H, Site 238).
Emily Noisette (1921–2011) was born in Maryland and lived in Baltimore with her grandmother as a young woman. She was one of 800 or so "women in technicolor" who overcame racial prejudice serving in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. Noisette enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and joined the new "six triple eight" battalion, the only all-female, all-black unit to serve overseas. Abiding to the motto "no mail, low morale," the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion redirected a six-month backlog of mail to troops. The battalion arrived in Scotland in early 1945 and was stationed in Birmingham, England, then Rouen, France. Private First Class Noisette was discharged in December 1945. She married North Carolinian John Milton Cox, Jr., (1924–1957) who lived in Baltimore by 1940; he also served in the army during the war. Noisette Cox is buried alongside her husband in Baltimore National Cemetery (Section N, Site 238).
Deloris L. Ruddock was born September 26, 1923, in Washington, D.C. In 1943 she enlisted in the Women's Army Corps for World War II service. She was eventually assigned to the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (Six Triple Eight), the only female African-American battalion to serve overseas in WWII. They fulfilled their mission to clear a large backlog of mail in the European Theater and raise troop morale. The unit received the Meritorious Unit Commendation in 2019. Ruddock was honorably discharged in 1946 and used her G.I. Bill benefits to attend fashion school in New York City. Unable to find work in that field, she had successful careers in banking and retail sales before retiring in the District of Columbia to be near family and volunteer in her community. Ruddock represented her unit in many ceremonies recognizing them throughout the 2010s. She died March 27, 2021, and was buried in Section E, Site 5333A.