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.
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Medal of Honor Recipients
Lieutenant Colonel Stanley T. Adams (Korea) U.S. Army, 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Sesim-ni, Korea, Feb. 4, 1951 (Section H, Grave 3623-O).
First Lieutenant Arnold L. Bjorklund (World War II) U.S. Army, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, Altavilla, Italy, Sept. 13, 1943 (Section H, Grave 3622-O).
Specialist 4th Class Larry G. Dahl (Vietnam) U.S. Army, 359th Transportation Company, 27th Transportation Battalion, U.S. Support Command, An Khe, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 23, 1971 (Section H, Grave 3622-M).
Sergeant 1st Class Loren R. Kaufman (Korea) U.S. Army, Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Yongsan, Korea, Sept. 4 & 5, 1950 (Section H, Grave 3622-N).
Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (Section H, Grave 3623-H)
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