This Week In Quartermaster History
27 May - 2 June
World War II, some 8,526 remains were physically unidentifiable and had been buried
without any knowledge of the victims true identities. Likewise following the Korean
War there were 846 "Unknowns." Of this number two were selected for interment at
the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
The Quartermaster General, Major General Andrew T. McNamara, was selected by the Secretary of Defense to serve as the Coordinator for this historic event. He carefully supervised every detail, from the disinterment and shipment of remains, to the sending out of invitations to world leaders and distinguished veterans -- including more than 200 Medal of Honor recipients. The Coordinating Committee he headed also oversaw the Capitol ceremonies, parade, and final interment.
At exactly one oclock on30 May 1958, Memorial Day, the two horse-drawn caissons carrying the caskets started their long journey from Capitol Plaza to Arlington National Cemetery. There were twelve decorated pallbearers of all the Armed Forces marching beside the the flag-draped caskets. Over 100,000 people watched the procession -- as 20 jets (minus one) flew over in a "missing man" formation.
On behalf of a grateful nation, President Eisenhower presented the Medal of Honor to each Unknown Serviceman.
Compiled by the
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Historian
Fort Lee, Virginia