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:
Captain Richard E. Fleming (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron 241, in recognition of perseverance and intrepidity in action during the Battle of Midway, June 4–5, 1942. On June 5, Captain Fleming's plane was struck during an approach glide, and he crashed into the sea in flames. He is memorialized in Section F-1, Site 111.
Private First Class Richard E. Kraus (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in the U.S. Marine Corps, 8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, in recognition of prompt action and great personal valor that saved the lives of his companions, at the cost of his own, in Pelelie, Palau Islands, October 5, 1944. Kraus is buried in Section DS, Site 61N.
Private First Class James D. LaBelle (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service with the U.S. Marine Corps, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in recognition of dauntless courage and self-sacrifice that saved the lives of others during the seizure of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, March 8, 1945. LaBelle is buried in Section B-1, Site 422S.
Captain George H. Mallon (World War I). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, 132rd Infantry, 33rd Division, for actions in the Bois-de-Forges, France, September 26, 1918. Mallon died in 1934 and is buried in Section DS, Site 1-S.
Commander Oscar F. Nelson. He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Navy on board the USS Bennington for extraordinary heroism when a boiler exploded on the vessel at San Diego, California, July 21, 1905. Nelson died in 1951 and is buried in Section DS, Site 64-N.
Captain Arlo Olson (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in the U.S. Army, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division, in recognition of actions during the crossing of the Volturno River, Italy, October 13, 1943. Captain Olson led the advance for thirteen days that October and reached the summit of Monte San Nicola, where he was mortally wounded. He died October 28, 1943, and is buried in Section C-24, Site 13787.
Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pruden (Vietnam). He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in the U.S. Army, Company G, 75th Infantry, in recognition of selfless concern for the welfare of his men and intrepidity in action at the cost of his life in the Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, November 29, 1969. Pruden is buried in Section M, Site 5710.
Second Lieutenant Donald E. Rudolph, Sr. (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company E, 20th Infantry, 6th Infantry Battalion, for actions in Munoz, Luzon, Philippine Islands, February 5, 1945. Rudolph died in 2006 and is buried in Section DS, Site 22-S.
First Lieutenant Richard Keith Sorenson (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, 4th Marine Division, for actions at Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 1–2, 1944. Sorenson died in 2004 and is buried in Section B, Site 149-1.
Born in New York, Halsey L. Hall (1898–1977) grew up in Minnesota. From his father, he learned baseball as well as the news business. Hall landed his first newspaper job in 1919, following World War I. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and the Yeoman Third Class served from 1918 to 1919. Lore has it that Hall was in uniform when his storied journalism career began. He added sports broadcasting to his newspaper columns and radio shows, calling games for the University of Minnesota Gophers (football) and Minnesota's minor league baseball team, before moving to television in 1961 when Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins came to town. Hall received many awards during his career, and his excitable expression, "Holy Cow!," during a baseball game known throughout the Upper Midwest. Minnesota's Ambassador of Baseball died December 31, at age 79, and is buried in Section L, Site 4058.
George W. and Bernice M. Janos, parents of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, (Section Y, Site 868).
Iowa-born George Emerson Leach was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Minnesota National Guard in 1905 and he graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. In 1916–1917 he served at Mexico border during the Pancho Villa Expedition. Leach served in the U.S. Army during World War I and II, retiring with the rank of major general. Between the wars he was elected mayor of Minneapolis four times between 1921 and 1939. He ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for governor in 1926 and 1938. Leach was an avid skier who managed the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1924 and is a member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. He died in 1955 and is buried in (Section DS, Site 65N).
C. Walton Lillehei, pioneer in heart surgery (Section 6-B, Site 182).
Henry Mack (ca. 1840–1945) was born into slavery in Alabama. He and his mother, Phoebe, escaped bondage as the Civil War began. In December 1863 Mack enlisted in the U.S. Army. Private Mack was initially assigned to the 4th Arkansas, then to the 57th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry. He served primarily in Arkansas and completed his tour at Fort Smith, mustering out with the rank of corporal in 1866. Mack moved to Oklahoma Territory before settling in Omaha, Nebraska, where he lived and worked until racial tensions culminated in the riots of 1919, which prompted his move to Minneapolis. He became a leader in the Grand Army of the Republic and, by World War II, Mack was known as the oldest living Civil War veteran. At his death on April 8, he was just shy of his 109th birthday. He is buried in Section A-3, Site 384.
Minnesotan John Mariucci (1916–1987) was one of the few American-born ice hockey players of his day and he is credited with developing the sport in the state over forty years. He played football and ice hockey for the University of Minnesota. After graduation in 1940, he joined the professional league, signing with the Chicago Blackhawks for five seasons. During World War II, Boatswain's Mate Mariucci served in the U.S. Coast Guard (1942–1945) and, never far from the sport, he led the Coast Guard's hockey squad. He coached the team at his alma mater (1952–1966) and, in 1956, Team USA to win silver in the Olympic Games. He was honored for his contributions to the sport in 1977, with the Lester Patrick Award, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. When he died on March 23, Mariucci was buried in Section R, Site 1569.
William D. Napton, former director of Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 1984–1995, is buried in Section DS, Site 83-S.
Lyle E. Norby, former director of Ft. Smith National Cemetery, (Section DS, Site 63-S).
Minnesota native Bruce P. Smith (1920–1967) grew up in Faribault and attended the University of Minnesota. He graduated in 1942 and was a national hero for his accomplishments on the football field. Smith led the Minnesota Gophers to undefeated seasons and two national championships in 1940 and 1941. The All-American halfback received the Heisman Trophy two days after Pearl Harbor, and the start of World War II. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and trained at the Great Lakes Naval Academy in Illinois. Ensign Smith met his wife, Gloria, while stationed in Philadelphia; they had four children. Smith played football professionally for the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams in the late 1940s, before retiring from the sport. Smith was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972 and his Gophers' jersey was retired in 1977. He died of cancer at 47 and is buried in Section O, Site 1474.
Calvin C. Stoll (1923–2000) was born in North Dakota and grew up in the Upper Midwest. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941 and served through World War II until January 1947 as an aviation machinist mate. Stoll played football in the service league in Memphis and Seattle; more is known of his collegiate career as a player and coach for the University of Minnesota Gophers. He graduated from the university and lettered as a defensive end in 1949. In the 1950s and 1960s, Stoll held line-, end-, and assistant- coaching positions, before becoming head coach at Wake Forest and then at Minnesota. Stoll led the Gophers football team from 1972–1978 with a split record. After he had a heart transplant in the 1980s, he supported the Second Chance at Life Foundation. Stoll died August 30, and is buried in Section 7, Site 1076.
There are twenty-eight group burials in Section C that hold the remains of ninety-seven decedents, all but one are from World War II. The circumstances of death — such as airplane crashes — preclude the separation of the remains and therefore the comrades-in-arms share a common grave. Larger marble government headstones with names, ranks, and dates note the decedents in each group. The largest group burial here is of nine WWII officers and enlisted men who died together on May 18, 1945.