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:
Sergeant Candelario Garcia (Vietnam). Candelario Garcia, a native of Texas, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963, and was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, also referred to as the Big Red One during the Vietnam War. On March 14, 2014, Sergeant Garcia received the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above the call of duty. While acting as team leader, Garcia initiated an attempt to aid wounded comrades and opened himself to enemy fire. He eliminated two enemy machine-gun positions on December 8, 1968 near Lai Khe, Republic of Vietnam. Garcia died January 10, 2013, and is buried in Section 107, Site 209.
Colonel James L. Stone (Korea). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company E, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, for actions near Sokkogae, Korea, on November 21-22, 1951. Stone died in 2012 and is buried in Section 76, Site 1658L.
Cloyde Pinson, Sr., Founder of the Texas National Cemetery Foundation (Section 76, Site 1702B).
Private First Class William Blair Jr. was born in 1921 in Dallas. He served in the army, and it is said he was the youngest African American to serve as first sergeant in World War II. In 1946 he pitched on Negro League baseball teams the Indianapolis Clowns and Detroit Stars. In 1949, he founded Southwest Sports News, which published college athletics nationwide. Later it was reformatted to become Elite News, with a focus on political, social and economic topics important to the North Texas black community. For his athletic, journalistic, and civil rights accomplishments, the City of Dallas renamed Rochester Park "William 'Bill' Blair Jr. Park" in 2011. Blair donated his business papers and Negro League memorabilia to the University of Texas at Arlington. He died April 20, 2014, and is buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery (Section 91, Site 585).
Bobbie Joe Cavnar was the 22-year-old pilot of the big four-engine Douglas C-54 that rescued a stranded crew of the wrecked B-29 "Kee Bird" from the far northwest tip of Greenland in February 1947. Cavnar landed his transport plane on a small frozen glacial lake near the wreck. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions and personally congratulated by President Harry S. Truman. He retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in 1964. (Section 11, Site 99).
Gunner's Mate Third Class Glenn Edward McDuffie served in the Navy during World War II and he claimed to be the American sailor kissing a nurse in the famous Life magazine image "V-J Day in Times Square" by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. After the war McDuffie became a mail carrier and semi-professional baseball player. Several years before McDuffie died, Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson confirmed that McDuffie was the famous kissing sailor. He died March 9, 2014, and is buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery (Section 178, Site 281).
Born in Lake City, Florida, George Allen Summerall, Jr., (1930-2013) was a gifted athlete. He played football, basketball, baseball, and tennis, and found success in all four sports during high school. Summerall played collegiate sports for the University of Arkansas and professional football for teams in Detroit, Chicago, and New York from 1952 to 1961. Summerall's athletic career was interrupted by military service after he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1955. When he retired from the field, Summerall became a radio and television sports announcer and covered football as well as golf and tennis. For more than a decade, Summerall worked beside colorful former football coach John Madden as they defined the sport-broadcasting medium. When he died in Dallas, the army private and sports veteran was buried in Columbarium D, Court 1, Site D79.