Puerto Rico National Cemetery
Puerto Rico National Cemetery
Puerto Rico Landmark
|Location:||Bayamón, Puerto Rico|
|NRHP Reference#:||83002298 |
|Added to NRHP:||September 26, 1983|
|Designated PRH:||September 26, 1983|
Puerto Rico National Cemetery is a United States national cemetery located in the city of Bayamón, in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It encompasses 108.2 acres (43.8 ha) of land, and as of the end of 2005, had 44,722 interments. It is the only National Cemetery in Puerto Rico, and the only one outside of the mainland United States.
The land in which the cemetery is located was under the jurisdiction of the United States Navy since 1898, when Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States as a consequence of the treaties signed which officially ended the Spanish–American War. The area was used as a machine gun firing range during World War II.
The Government of the United States decided that the site, which is located in Bayamon and is approximately 13 miles from San Juan, would be suitable for the construction of a new cemetery. The land was transferred to the stewardship of the United States Department of the Army and the private firm of Font & Montilla was contracted to build the cemetery.
The cemetery was dedicated on Veterans Day in 1949, in a ceremony attended by Luis Muñoz Marín, the Governor of Puerto Rico, and Major General Herman Feldman, the Quartermaster of the U.S. Army. The cemetery has become a shrine to the Puerto Rican veterans who have served in the United States military and those who perished while on active duty. In 1962, the remains of those interred on all other five military cemeteries on the island were transferred there.
The cemetery has the only Memorial Program Service Marker Processing Center site located in a national cemetery and outside of the United States. The Puerto Rico National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 26, 1983.
The following list has the names of distinguished Puerto Ricans, and non-Puerto Rican veterans who have made Puerto Rico their home, who served in the U.S. military and are interred there.
- Domingo Arroyo, Jr., PFC, U.S. Marine Corps, The first Puerto Rican and American serviceman to be killed in Operation Restore Hope during the Somalian Civil War. Section I, Row 0, Site 111.
- Bailey K. Ashford, Colonel, U.S. Army, Spanish–American War veteran, doctor, parasitologist, author. A pioneering physician, Ashford organized and conducted a parasite treatment campaign, which cured approximately 300,000 persons (one-third of the Puerto Rico population) and reduced the death rate from this anemia by 90 percent. Section A, Site 1204.
- Carlos Betances Ramírez, Colonel, U.S. Army, was the only Puerto Rican to command a Battalion in the Korean War. Section K, Site 3030.
- Modesto Cartagena, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, served in the 65th Infantry Regiment, an all-Puerto Rican regiment also known as "The Borinqueneers", during World War II and the Korean War. He was the most decorated Puerto Rican soldier in history.
- Carlos Fernando Chardón , Major General, U.S. Army, was the Puerto Rico Adjutant General from 1969 to 1973. Chardon was also the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico from 1969 to 1973
- Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Army, who was a Battalion Commander of the 31st Infatry Regiment. He documented his experiences as a prisoner of war and his participation in the infamous Bataan Death March of World War II. Section G, Plot 3 
- Juan César Cordero Dávila, Major General, U.S. Army, was the commanding officer of the 65th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War, rising to become one of the highest ranking ethnic officers in the United States Army. Section C, Row, Site 0.
- Efrain Figueroa-Melendez, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, was a member of Company D, 3d Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. On three occasions Staff Sergeant Figueroa-Melendez purposely drew communist volleys on himself to permit his men to draw back to protected positions. Plot: E 563.
- Fernando Luis García Ledesma, PFC, U.S. Marine Corps, first Puerto Rican awarded the Medal Of Honor. Plot: MB 0 3. [note 1]
- César Luis González, First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, World War II, was the first pilot from Puerto Rico to fly for the US Army Air Corps and one of the first Puerto Ricans to die in combat during that conflict. He was posthumusly promoted to 1st. Lt. Plot: A 175.
- Mihiel "Mike" Gilormini, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force, World War II hero, recipient of 5 Distinguished Flying Cross's and co-founder of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. Gilormini had previously flown for the Royal Canadian Air Force(1941) and the Royal Air Force (1941–1942). Plot: F 314.
- Gilberto José Marxuach, Colonel, U.S. Army, the son of Teofilo Marxuach, is "The Father of the San Juan Civil Defense". Plot: C 60.
- Teófilo Marxuach, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, ordered the first shot fired in World War I on behalf of the United States on an armed German supply ship trying to force its way out of the San Juan Bay. Section C, Site 59.
- Elmy L. Matta, 1st. Lieutenant, U.S. Army, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, was a member of the 8th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry), 1st CAV DIV. Lieutenant Matta was killed while personally leading an assault of his company against the enemy in the face of intense small arms and automatic weapons fire. Plot: A 0 41.
- José Antonio Muñiz, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Force, together with then-Colonels Alberto A. Nido and Mihiel Gilormini he founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. In 1963, the Air National Guard Base, at the San Juan International airport in Puerto Rico, was renamed "Muñiz Air National Guard Base" in his honor. Plot: E, Row 0, Site 312.
- Alberto A. Nido, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force, World War II hero who co-founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and served as its commander for many years. Plot: J 9.
- Belisario Noriega, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, served with the 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. He led his men through the hostile ranks of the enemy to the safety of the main line of resistance. Plot: E 582.
- Ramón Núñez-Juárez, PFC, U.S. Marine Corps, was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, second highest military award of the United States of America after the Medal of Honor. He was the only Puerto Rican member of the United States Marine Corps whose remains have never been recovered and who was listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War. Plot: MB, Row 0, Site 2.
- Members of the Otero family:
- Joseph Otero, Sargeant, U.S. Army, murdered by serial killer Dennis Rader
- Julie Otero, wife of Joseph Otero, murdered by serial killer Dennis Rader
- Josephine Otero, daughter of Joseph and Julie Otero, murdered by serial killer Dennis Rader
- Joseph Otero II, son of Joseph and Julie Otero, murdered by serial killer Dennis Rader
- SP5 Diana Beatriz Padro, died in The Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- Agustín Ramos Calero, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, with 22 military decorations Ramos Calero was the most decorated Hispanic soldier in all of the United States during World War II. Plot: J 2116.
- Lizbeth Robles, SPC, U.S. Army, first Puerto Rican female soldier born in Puerto Rico to die in Iraq. Section A, Row 0, Site 1333.
- Antonio Rodríguez Balinas, Brigadier General, U.S. Army, the first commander of the Office of the First U.S. Army Deputy Command.
- Eurípides Rubio, Captain, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor recipient for action in the Vietnam War. Section HSA, Site 5.
- John Ernest Sayle, British Merchant Marine crewmember killed during World War II; one of two gravesites of British Commonwealth soldiers buried in Puerto Rico administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Antulio Segarra, Colonel, U.S. Army, In 1943, Segarra became the first Puerto Rican Regular Army officer to command a Regular Army Regiment when he assumed the command of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment which at the time was conducting security missions in the jungles of Panama. Plot: A, Row 0, Site 353.
- Frances M. Vega, SPC, U.S. Army, first Puerto Rican female soldier born in the U.S. to die in a war. Section L, Row 0, Site 7.
- Captain Elwood Palmes Walmsley, Royal Air Force pilot killed during World War II; one of two gravesites of British Commonwealth soldiers buried in Puerto Rico administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Gallery of notable interments
- In the cases of PFC Fernando Luis Garcia and PFC Ramón Núñez-Juarez, no physical remains were buried. Separate cenotaphs (in these cases, the cenotaphs are normal headstones in accordance with cemetery protocol) with their names inscribed were placed by military officials in their memories.
- List of Puerto Ricans
- List of Puerto Rican military personnel
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- "National Register". Retrieved 2009-04-14.[dead link]
- Puerto Rico National Ceme6tery
- Domingo Arroyo, Jr.
- Bailey K. Ashford
- Grave Locator
- Alcalde de Cayey lamenta fallecimiento del soldado puertorriqueño más condecorado en la historia de EE.UU.
- Fernando Chardón
- Toledo Blade - Jun 9, 1980
- Juan César Cordero Dávila
- Puerto Rico National Cemetery
- Fernando Luis Garcia
- César Luis González
- Mihiel "Mike" Gilormini
- Gilberto Jose Marxuach
- Teofilo Marxuach
- Puerto Rico National Cemetery, Bayamón
- Alberto A. Nido
- Department of Veterans Affairs: Nationwide Gravesite Locator
- The BTK Story from TruTV
- Agustín Ramos Calero
- Primera Hora
- Euripides Rubio
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Sayle, John Ernest
- Antulio Segarra
- Griffith, Frank. "Puerto Rican soldier killed in Chinook helicopter downing buried with full military honors" . Associated Press, November 10, 2003.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Walmsley, Elwood Palmes