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 Jesse T. Barrick (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company H, 3d Minnesota Infantry, for actions near Duck River, TN, May 26 – June 2, 1863. Barrick received a commission as an officer, Company G, 57th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment, in July 1864; he mustered out of service that October. Second Lieutenant Barrick died in 1923. His remains were interred with full military honors in February 2000, in Section 8, Site 108.
Sergeant Dexter J. Kerstetter (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company C, 130th Infantry, 33rd Infantry Division, for actions near Galiano, Luzon, Philippine Islands, April 13, 1945. Kerstetter died in 1972 and is buried in Section 9B, Site 12.
Master Sergeant Wilburn K. Ross (World War II). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company G, 30th Infantry, 3d Division, for actions near St. Jacques, France, October 30, 1944. Ross died in 2017 and is buried in Section 28B, Site 479.
Sergeant First Class Nathan Ross Chapman – first American serviceman to die from hostile fire in the war in Afghanistan in 2002. Sergeant Chapman was a communications specialist with the 1st Special Forces Group at Fort Lewis, WA. (Section 6, Site 33).
Francis Agnes – former POW (1941 to 1945), survivor of the Bataan Death March, founder of the Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group (Section 24, Site 717).
Phillip F. Smith was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1932, and he graduated from high school in California at 16. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in September 1949 with tours on USCG Cutters Rhododendron, Bering Strait, and Staten Island. On-shore assignments took him to California, Alaska, and Washington; in Washington's 13th Coast Guard District, Smith became one of the first Senior Enlisted Advisors. He served as the Second Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from 1973 to 1977, when he retired. MCPOCG Smith's advocacy for the Coast Guard's Senior Enlisted Leader program continues to influence the service in the changes he made on behalf of enlisted men. He died June 22, 2017, and is buried in Tahoma National Cemetery (Section 30B, Site 126).
Mary Jean Sturdevant was born September 28, 1921, in Oregon. The high school valedictorian then became one of three women to join the civilian pilot program at Southern Oregon University. Upon graduation she became an instructor and trained Army Air Corps cadets. Sturdevant was accepted into the Women Airforce (sic) Service Pilots (WASP) program but her value as an instructor was more important. Stationed at Merced (CA), she flew Army AT-6s and BT-13s and taught male pilots to fly until the WASP program ended in 1945. In 1977 WASPs were recognized as veterans, and in 2009 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Pilot Sturdevant died June 24, 2017. She is buried in Tahoma National Cemetery (Section FI, Row B, Niche 3).