National Cemetery Administration
Willamette National Cemetery
Visitation Hours: Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Veterans Day 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed and cremated remains.
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.
From Portland International Airport, take Airport Way to Interstate 205 South. Proceed south approximately seven miles to Foster Rd., (Exit 17). Take exit and travel east on Foster 3/4 mile. Then turn right on 110th Drive. Proceed uphill 3/4 mile. Cemetery entrance is on the left, just before reaching stop sign at Mt. Scott Boulevard.
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.
Rules of conduct: Picnicking, jogging, other recreational activities and the cutting or removal of cemetery plantings and shrubbery are prohibited. All pets are prohibited outside of vehicles. Unattended vehicles should be locked. Purses and valuables should be stored out of sight.
Military Funeral Honors
A contingent of the Oregon National Guard is currently assigned to the cemetery to perform full military honors on a first assigned, first served basis. Honor guards from local reserve components, veterans service and other organizations may be secured when the Oregon Honor Guard has been previously assigned or when requested by the next of kin.
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.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves between Nov. 1 and March 1. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 5 days before through 5 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas 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.
During the mowing season, arrangements are removed from gravesites on a weekly basis or when they become withered and unsightly. The flower pickup schedule for cemetery sections is as follows:
Monday: Sections A H K L M N O P MN
Tuesday: Sections 6 B C D E F G U V W
Wednesday: Sections Q R S T X Y Z AA BB MA MB
Thursday: Sections 4 CC GG HH MC Columbaria I II III IV V VI
Friday: Sections 1 2 3 5 7 DD EE FF JJ KK LL MM
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.
Willamette National Cemetery is located about 10 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon, straddling the Multnomah and Clackamas County lines. As the result of lobbying efforts by several veterans’ organizations, Congress passed Public Law 388 authorizing the Secretary of War to establish a national cemetery in the Portland vicinity in 1941. Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill into law, he felt that funds for the purchase of land should be limited to defense needs. As a result, no appropriation was made to build the cemetery.
At the conclusion of World War II, regional authorities again began urging the development of a national cemetery in Oregon. In 1949, the state donated approximately 102 acres and subsequent donations in 1952 brought the total land area to a little over 201 acres. Construction work started in 1950, and the area was officially designated Willamette National Cemetery on Dec. 14, 1950. The first burial occurred in 1951.
An additional 68 acres were dedicated in 1997 and include additional burial sections and columbaria. The latest addition to the cemetery was the 2011 purchase of 38 adjacent acres that are held for future development.
Monuments and Memorials
Willamette National Cemetery is home to the Oregon Korean Veterans Memorial. This series of polished, black granite walls memorializes 283 Oregon servicemen and women who lost their lives in that conflict. Willamette National Cemetery is designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway site.
The American Veterans (AMVETS) donated a carillon to the cemetery in 1975.
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:
Lieutenant Colonel Stanley T. Adams (Korea). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company A, 19th Infantry Regiment, for actions near Sesim-ni, Korea, February 4, 1951. Adams died in 1999 and is buried in Section H, Site 3623-O.
First Lieutenant Arnold L. Bjorklund (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, for actions near Altavilla, Italy, September 13, 1943. Bjorklund died in 1979 and is buried in Section H, Site 3622-O.
Specialist 4th Class Larry G. Dahl (Vietnam). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in the U.S. Army, 359th Transportation Company, U.S. Support Command, in recognition of courageous disregard for personal safety that saved the lives of fellow soldiers at the cost of his own at An Khe, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, February 23, 1971. Dahl is buried in Section H, Site 3622-M.
Sergeant 1st Class Loren R. Kaufman (Korea). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in the U.S. Army, Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, in recognition of actions near Yongsan, Korea, September 4-5, 1950. Kaufman died in 1951 and is buried in Section H, Site 3622-N.
Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (Section H, Site 3623-H)
Carson Lee Bigbee (1895-1964) was born in Oregon, the youngest of three boys. His parents were teachers and all three children were gifted athletes. Bigbee's comparatively small size and speed on the field earned him the nickname "Skeeter" in high school. Professional baseball teams took notice, but he followed his brothers to the University of Oregon. Skeeter Bigbee joined the professional leagues in 1916 and was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the off-season, he worked in the Portland shipyards. He was drafted for military service in World War I, and joined the U.S. Army's Coast Artillery Corps, as a private, in 1918. After the war, he finished his professional baseball career with the Pirates in 1926 and he, and his family, made Portland home for many years. He died October 17, and is buried in Section T, Site 3269.
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.