National Cemetery Administration
Fort Worden Post Cemetery
PLEASE NOTE: Cemetery offices are off-site. Tahoma National Cemetery oversees this cemetery.
Office Hours at Tahoma National Cemetery:
Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
The cemetery is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.
The cemetery can accommodate in-ground cremated remains only.
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
A Veteran's spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran.
Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial.
The closest airport is William R Fairchild International Airport (CLM), which is approximately 62 miles from Ft. Worden Post Cemetery.
Depart William R Fairchild International Airport: 1402 Fairchild Airport Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363.
Take S Airport Rd to US-101 E. Continue on US-101 E to Jefferson County. Turn left onto WA-20 E (follow the signs to Port Townsend). Turn left to stay on WA-20 E. Turn left onto Discovery Rd. Turn right at the 1st cross street to stay on Discovery Rd. At the traffic circle, continue straight to stay on Discovery Rd. Turn left to stay on Discovery Rd. Turn left onto San Juan Ave. Turn right onto Admiralty Ave. Admiralty Ave turns right and becomes Spruce St. Turn left onto W St, The cemetery will be on the left.
Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
For information on scheduled burials in our national cemeteries, please go to the Daily Burial Schedule.
The Fort Worden Post Cemetery is located in the Fort Worden State Park at Port Townsend, Washington on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Army transferred Fort Worden Post to NCA by the Department of the Army on August 21, 2020.
PLEASE NOTE: The cemetery generally has no staff members present on the grounds during operating hours. The grounds are wheelchair accessible. Tahoma National Cemetery oversees Fort Worden Post Cemetery, please call 425-413-9614 with questions or concerns. There is no on-site parking. Visitors have the option of parking on the side of the roadways surrounding the cemetery and are reminded to use caution due to traffic. There are no restroom facilities at the cemetery.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
The cemetery staff will place three floral arrangements, which accompanied the urn at the time of burial, on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year and will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers are permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. Generally, artificial flowers are allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Holiday wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by the donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
VA regulations 38 CFR 1.218 prohibit the carrying of firearms (either openly or concealed), explosives or other dangerous or deadly weapons while on VA property, except for official purposes, such as military funeral honors.
Possession of firearms on any property under the charge and control of VA is prohibited. Offenders may be subject to a fine, removal from the premises, or arrest.
Construction of the Fort Worden military defense installation began in 1896. It was one of three major fortifications protecting Puget Sound. The three, Fort Casey, Fort Flagler, and Fort Worden eventually became known as the triangle of fire, protecting the Puget Sound entrance from feared Spanish American War naval attacks, and any naval attacks from other nations.
Fort Worden was activated in May 1902 and was named for a naval officer, Admiral John Lorimer Worden (1818-1897), captain of the ironclad Civil War vessel USS Monitor.
The first troops arrived in May 1902 and Fort Worden was fully operational in 1905 as the Headquarters of the Puget Sound Harbor Defense Command. On June 2, 1902, one month after post activation, the first death occurred. Private Elisha Webb (1879-1902) of McMinn County, Tennessee died of illness. Private Webb was a soldier in the 126th Coast Artillery and he was buried in the new cemetery.
In 1903 the Secretary of War directed that Fort Worden be the official burial grounds for the three Puget Sound harbor defense forts. Since then, the cemetery has over 430 interments that include service members, spouses and dependents from the Spanish American War to current engagements.
In 1908, a monument named the Soldiers' Monument was erected in the cemetery. It had a pivot gun off the revenue cutter Jefferson Davis placed on a concrete pedestal. The monument honors all those who died in the service of this nation. During a scrap metal drive for World War II the pivot gun was removed and melted down for the war effort. It was replaced with a 1918 German howitzer. The gun and pedestal, along with the American Flag, are the center features of the cemetery.
In World War I artillery Soldiers going to European battlefields trained here. Between the wars the post had a small force and rearmed. In World War II the Fort was home to the 14th Coast Artillery Regiment and the joint Navy-Army Harbor Defense Command. Emphasis shifted to anti-aircraft artillery. Outdated coastal artillery was scrapped.
After World War II, Fort Worden was determined to be obsolete and the Harbor Defense Command closed in June 1953. In 1957 Washington State purchased the property for a youth treatment center. Budget cuts in 1971 closed the youth treatment center and it then became a Washington state park. The cemetery was not included in the land transfer and remained an active Army cemetery until transferred to the National Cemetery Administration in August 2020.
We are developing content for this section.
We are developing educational content for this national cemetery, and will post new materials as they become available. Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.