Fort Custer National Cemetery
|Type||United States National Cemetery|
|Owned by||United States Department of Veterans Affairs|
|Size||770.4 acres (311.8 ha)|
|Number of graves||30,000|
|Find a Grave||Fort Custer National Cemetery|
Fort Custer National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located just outside the village of Augusta in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. It encompasses 770.4 acres (311.8 ha), and as of 2014[update] had 30,000 interments.
Named for General George Armstrong Custer, the original Camp Custer was built in 1917 as part of the military mobilization during World War I. After the war, it also served as a demobilization camp. The cemetery itself was not created until 1943. During World War II Fort Custer was expanded to serve as a training ground and as a place to hold German prisoners of war.
Of the German POWs held during World War II, 26 died and were buried in the cemetery. Sixteen of which were killed when a truck carrying them from a work detail collided with a train near Blissfield, Michigan.
It was not until 1981 that Fort Custer cemetery officially became Fort Custer National Cemetery, receiving a large plot of land from the Fort Custer Training Center for expansion. In 1997 another expansion was made, with the addition of 60 acres (24 ha).
- The Avenue of Flags, a row of 152 flag poles along the main road of the cemetery, as well as the main flagpole and an additional 50 flag poles, one for each state flag, in a semicircle at the road end.
- Wade Herbert Flemons (1940–1993) – United States Army Private First Class who served in the Vietnam War, and R&B musician
- Fort Custer Recreation Area – a state facility converted from the original Fort Custer military reservation