Establishing the Tomb of the Unknown US Soldier




Timeline

Y/M/D Description Place
1921/03/04 Congress approves the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington
1921/05/30 Four unknown casualties who fought in the Great War (World War I) are exhumed from four American cemeteries in France.
1921/10/24 US Army Sgt Edward F Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decorated for valor and received the Distinguished Service Medal in WWI selects the Unknown Soldier of World War I from 4 identical caskets at the city hall in Chalons-sur-Marne, France.
1921/10/25 Escorted by French destroyers, the USS Olympia departs France with the World War I unknown soldier. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France. USS OLYMPIA, Philadelphia
1921/11/09 At the mouth of the Potomac River, the battleship NORTH DAKOTA and the destroyer BERRNADOU join the OLYMPIA as she steams to the Washington Navy Yard. After transferring the remains ashore, the cruiser fires her guns in salute. Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC
1921/11/10 The Unknown Soldier lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda from his arrival in the United States until Armistice Day, 1921. United States Capitol, Washington, DC
1921/11/11 President Warren G Harding officiates at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington
1956/08/03 President Dwight D Eisenhower signs a bill to select and pay tribute to the unknowns of World War II and Korea.
1958/00/00 Four unknown Americans who died in the Korean War are disinterred from the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Army Master Sgt Ned Lyle makes the final selection. National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu
1958/00/00 Two unknowns from World War II are placed in identical caskets aboard the USS Canberra resting off the Virginia capes. Medal of Honor recipient, William R Charette, selects the Unknown Soldier. The remaining casket receives a solemn burial at sea.
1958/05/28 Caskets of two unknown soldiers, one from World War II and one from the Korean Conflict, arrive in Washington and lay in State in the Capitol Rotunda until May 30. United States Capitol, Washington, DC
1958/05/30 Caskets of two unknown soldiers, one from World War II and one from the Korean Conflict, are carried on caissons to Arlington National Cemetery. President Eisenhower awards each the Medal of Honor, and the Unknowns are interred in the plaza. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington
1984/05/17 The Unknown service member from the Vietnam War is designated by Medal of Honor recipient US Marine Corps Sgt Maj Allan Jay Kellogg Jr during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
1984/05/24 USS Brewton carries the Vietnam Unknown to Alameda Naval Base, California. The remains are then transported to Travis Air Force Base, California.
1984/05/25 The Vietnam War Unknown arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
1984/05/27 Vietnam veterans and President and Mrs Ronald Reagan visit the Vietnam Unknown in the US Capitol. United States Capitol, Washington, DC
1984/05/28 An Army caisson carries the Vietnam Unknown from the Capitol to the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 28, 1984. President Reagan presides over the funeral, and presents the Medal of Honor to the Vietnam Unknown. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington
1998/05/14 Remains of the Vietnam Unknown are exhumed. Using DNA testing, DoD scientists identified the remains as those of Air Force 1st Lt Michael Joseph Blassie, who was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam, in 1972. The crypt of the Vietnam Unknown remains vacant. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington

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