Fort Missoula Post Cemetery
NCA marks 50 years (1973-2023) of serving America's Veterans, Service Members, and Families.
Learn more and watch NCA's 50th Anniversary Ceremony.
Photo from Fort Missoula Post Cemetery.
Fort Missoula Post Cemetery is currently closed to new interments. The only interments that are being performed are subsequent interments for Veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite.
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.
» Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery
Follow Aviation Way to W Broadway St/U.S. Highway 10 W, Head northeast on Johnson Bell Dr toward W Broadway St/U.S. Highway 10 W. Make a U-turn at W Broadway St/U.S. Highway 10 W. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Aviation Way. Turn left to stay on Aviation Way. Turn left to stay on Aviation Way. Take US-93 S/N Reserve St to South Ave W in Missoula. Turn right onto W Broadway St/U.S. Highway 10 W. Turn right to merge onto US-93 S/N Reserve St toward S Reserve St. Continue on South Ave W. Drive to CCC Rd/Guardsman Ln. Turn right onto South Ave W. Turn left onto CCC Rd/Guardsman Ln.
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.
Fort Missoula Post Cemetery is in the city of Missoula, MT. The post cemetery is approximately 1 acre in size. The property is located within the Fort Missoula National Historic Register District.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted on the property and readily visible to the public.
Pets are not allowed in Cemetery. (Trained Service dogs only)
Fresh cut flowers may be placed on the graves throughout the year. Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. They will be removed when they become unsightly.
Artificial flowers are only permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance.
Permanent plantings are not permitted on graves at any time.
Potted plants are only permitted on graves five days before and five days after Easter and Memorial Day.
Floral items will be removed from graves as soon as they become faded or unsightly.
Christmas wreaths or grave blankets are permitted on graves during the holiday season and will be removed not later than January 20th. Grave floral blankets may not be larger than two feet by three feet.
Floral items and decorations may not be secured to headstones. Unacceptable items include statues, vigil lights, glass objects, pinwheels, balloons, political signs or items, commemorative items, and any grave decoration taller than the headstone.
During the lawn mowing and grounds maintenance season, floral items will be removed from graves every week. The lawn mowing schedule is available from the cemetery staff.
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.
The U.S. Army established Fort Missoula in 1877 to guard the Bitterroot Valley in the Montana Territory after years of petitioning from local citizenry for military presence. The post cemetery was established the following year. The cemetery occupies 1.24 acres and is the oldest active burial ground in Missoula, with interments from all U.S conflicts from the Civil War to Vietnam. The fort saw significant activity from 1933 through World War II. From 1933–1942, Fort Missoula served as the Rocky Mountain Regional Civilian Conservation Corps' administrative center, the largest CCC headquarters in the country. During World War II, it was the Immigration and Naturalization Service's largest internment camp for non-military foreign and native persons—primarily Italian nationals and Japanese Americans.
The first recorded burial at the post cemetery was Pvt. William Gericke who died September 26, 1878. Two Medal of Honor recipients from the Indian Wars (1865–1891) are interred here: Corporal Harry Garland and Private Michael Himmelsback. A large number of graves are African Americans who served in the 24th and 25th Infantry regiments, which were garrisoned there from the late 1800s into the early 1900s. Thirty-six remains were reinterred in Fort Missoula following the closure of Fort Ellis, near Bozeman, in 1886. Several women, wives of officers and senior sergeants, are buried in the cemetery, as are more than 50 children who lived at the fort. The cemetery is closed to burials other than those of Veterans or eligible dependents in existing gravesites. Fort Missoula was formally decommissioned in 2001 and the Army transferred the post cemetery to NCA on October 16, 2019. Fort Missoula Post Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 as a contributing feature of a larger Army post district.
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:
Corporal Harry Garland (Indian Wars) was born in 1844 in Boston, MA. He fought with the 2nd U.S. Cavalry and was part of post-Little Bighorn operations against Native Americans in the region. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action in two separate engagements. The first was against Lakota Chief Lame Deer at Little Muddy Creek, MT, on May 7, 1877. The second was against the Nez Perce at Camas Meadows, ID, on August 20, 1877. In this event, Garland was shot through the left hip and was left unable to stand. He never fully recovered from his wounds and received a warrant promotion to Hospital Steward at Fort Ellis, assuming this duty in December 1878. He died May 21, 1883 and was buried at Fort Ellis. When the hospital closed in 1886 his remains were moved to Fort Missoula (Section B, Site 13).
Private Michael Himmelsback (Indian Wars) was born in 1849 in Allegheny County, PA. He fought in Co. C, 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Himmelsback received the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at Little Blue, NE, on May 17, 1870. In this engagement, Himmelsback was part of a five-man detachment sent to recover stray horses. The party was attacked by a large group of Native Americans and all their horses were killed. The party held off their attackers and withdrew by foot, rescuing a party of settlers — two women and two children — in the process. Himmelsback died of kidney disease at Fort Ellis Hospital, Montana, on January 5, 1881. When the hospital closed in 1886 his remains were moved to Fort Missoula (Section B, Site 15).
U.S. Army Major General Frank William Milburn served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. He was a decorated hero, receiving numerous valor awards. He later served as the Athletic Director at Montana State University.
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.