Gravestone of medical pioneer Dr. Walter Reed


Alexander T. Augusta, U.S. Army (1825-1890) — Augusta was a pioneering doctor and the highest-ranking African American officer of the Civil War, promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel in 1865. He was also the Army's first black physician, the United States' first black hospital administrator (Freedman's Hospital, Washington, D.C.) and its first black professor of medicine (Howard University). Commissioned as a major, he served as regimental surgeon of the 7th Infantry, U.S. Colored Troops. After the war, Dr. Augusta was a founding faculty member of the Howard University Medical Department. (Section 1, Grave 124-C)

Ollie Josephine B. Bennett, U.S. Army — Lt. Ollie Bennett was the first female medical officer commissioned in the U.S. Army, which she joined during World War I as a contract surgeon with the rank of first lieutenant. She was told that the Army did not have uniforms for female surgeons and she was to design one herself. (Section 10, Grave 10938-LH)

Joel T. Boone, U.S. Navy (1889-1974) — The most highly decorated medical officer in the history of the U.S. armed services, Vice Admiral Boone was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star (six-time recipient) for his service in World War I. Subsequently, he was the personal physician of presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. (Section 11, Grave 137-2)

Michael E. DeBakey, U.S. Army (1908-2008) — A cardiovascular surgeon, Col. DeBakey developed a "roller pump" that enabled open-heart surgery. During World War II, he helped develop the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit, for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit. (Section 34, 399-A) 

Cary T. Grayson, U.S. Navy (1878-1938) — A naval physician and surgeon, Grayson was a confidant of President Woodrow Wilson, who commissioned him as a rear admiral in 1916. He headed the Red Cross from 1935 until his death in 1938. (Section 30, Grave S-24)

Gravesite of Jonathan Letterman, the father of battlefield medicine

Jonathan Letterman, U.S. Army (1824-1872) — Surgeon general of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War, Major Letterman has been called "the father of battlefield medicine." (Section 3, Grave 1869)

Anita Newcomb McGee, U.S. Army (1864-1940) — McGee received her medical degree from Columbian College (now George Washington University) in 1892. Her organizing ability led to her appointment, during the Spanish-American War of 1898, as the only woman acting assistant surgeon in the Army, placed in charge of the Army's nurses. She strongly advocated a permanent nursing corps, and in 1901 Congress authorized the creation of the Army Nurse Corps. Dr. McGee also led efforts to erect the Spanish-American War Nurses Monument at Arlington National Cemetery, dedicated in 1905. (Section 1, Grave 526B)

Walter Reed, U.S. Army (1851-1902) — Serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, Major Reed was a pioneering bacteriologist whose experiments confirmed the mosquito transmission of yellow fever. (Section 3, Grave 1864)

Albert Bruce Sabin, U.S. Army (1906-1993) — Sabin is best known as the inventor of the oral polio vaccine. Serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, Lt. Col. Sabin also helped develop a vaccine against Japanese encephalitis. (Section 3, Grave 1885-RH)

Charles G. Sonntag, U.S. Army (1873-1937) — As a soldier in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, Pvt. Sonntag volunteered to be infected with yellow fever, risking his life to help Maj. Walter Reed develop his breakthrough findings on mosquito transmission of the disease. (Section 17, Grave 28239)

George M. Sternberg, U.S. Army (1838-1915) — Sternberg was U.S. surgeon general from 1893 to 1902. Considered the first U.S. bacteriologist, he conducted important research on yellow fever, malaria and typhoid fever. Brig. Gen. Sternberg served in the Civil War, Indian Wars and the Spanish-American War. (Section 2, Grave 994)

Richard R. Taylor, U.S. Army (1922-1978) — Surgeon general of the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1977, Lt. Gen. Taylor served in Korea and Vietnam. (Section 3, Grave 1865)

Morton D. Willcutts, U.S. Navy (1889-1976) — As vice admiral of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, Willicut led the review board to investigate the death of Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal (Section 30, Grave 674) in 1949, which resulted in the Willcutts Report. (Section 6, Grave 9430-RH)

Leonard Wood, U.S. Army (1860-1927) — Major General Leonard Wood played a key role in shaping American global expansion and military preparedness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A Harvard Medical School graduate, he began his Army career as a medical officer on the southwestern frontier, receiving the Medal of Honor in 1886 for his role in the campaign against Geronimo and the Apaches. During the Spanish-American War (1898), Wood and his friend Theodore Roosevelt, then assistant secretary of the Navy, organized and commanded the famous "Rough Riders" (1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment). After the war, Wood became military general of Cuba (1899-1902), where he implemented numerous health and sanitation reforms. He served in the Philippines as governor of Moro Province (1903-1906) and as commander of the Army's Department of the East (1906-1908), amidst ongoing rebellions by Filipino nationalists. President William H. Taft appointed Wood chief of staff of the Army in 1910. His last appointment, after he ran unsuccessfully for the 1920 Republican presidential nomination, was governor general of the Philippines (1921-1927). (Section 21, Grave S-10)


Gravestone of Jane Delano, founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service

Hazel W. Johnson-Brown, U.S. Army (1927-2011) — The first African American woman general in the U.S. Army, Johnson-Brown became chief of the Army Nurse Corps, and received a promotion to brigadier general, in 1979. She joined the Army as a nurse in 1955, and served as a staff nurse in Japan and chief nurse in South Korea. From 1976 to 1978, she directed the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing. (Section 60, Grave 9836)

Namahoyke "Namah" Curtis, U.S. Army (1873–1957) — Namahyoke Curtis, known as Namah, was a prominent African American nurse in late-19th-century Washington, D.C. During the Spanish-American War (1898), the Surgeon General assigned her to recruit other Black women to serve as U.S. Army contract nurses. She recruited as many as 32 Black nurses for the war effort. Curtis was of African American, European and American Indian descent, and she married Dr. Austin Curtis, a leading Black physician and the superintendent of Freedmen’s Hospital in D.C. She is buried in the “Nurses' Section,” which contains the gravesites of many military nurses and the Spanish-American War Nurses Memorial. (Section 21, Grave 15999-A-1)

Jane Delano, U.S. Army (1862-1919) — A distant relative of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jane Delano served as superintendent of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps from 1909 to 1912, and in 1909 founded the American Red Cross Nursing Service. By the outbreak of World War I, the American Red Cross Nursing Service had more than 8,000 registered and trained nurses ready for emergency response. Delano was on a Red Cross mission in France when she died in 1919; her last words reportedly were, "I must get back to my work." She was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and reinterred a year later in the "Nurses' Section" of the cemetery. (Section 21, Grave 6)

Lenah S. Higbee, U.S. Navy (1874-1941) — Higbee completed nurse's training in 1899 in New York City and postgraduate studies at Fordham Hospital in 1908. Later that year, she joined the U.S. Navy, becoming one of its first 20 nurses. She became the Navy's chief nurse in 1909 and the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in 1911, a position she held through World War I. Higbee received the Navy Cross for distinguished service in 1918. (Section 3, Grave 1797)

Juanita Redmond Hipps, U.S. Army (1912-1979) — During World War II, Hipps served as a U.S. Army nurse in the Philippines and chronicled her experiences in a bestselling book, "I Served on Bataan" (1943). Reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, Hipps also helped to establish the Army Air Corps flight nurse program. (Section 21, Grave 769-1)

Anna Etheridge Hooks, U.S. Army (1839-1913) — For her service as a U.S. Army nurse in the Civil War, Anna Etheridge was one of only two women to earn the Kearny Cross, awarded to Union soldiers who had displayed meritorious, heroic or distinguished acts while in the face of an enemy force. She participated in 32 battles, including First and Second Bull Run, Williamsburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. She was noted for removing wounded men from combat. (Section 15, Grave 710)

Juliet Ann Opie Hopkins (1818-1890) — Known as the "Florence Nightingale of the South," Juliet Opie Hopkins helped coordinate medical care for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Her husband, Alabama politician and lawyer Arthur Hopkins, was appointed to oversee Confederate hospitals, and Juliet converted three Virginia tobacco farms into hospitals. She also cared for Confederate troops and their families, sustaining an injury while attending to wounded soldiers at the Battle of Seven Pines (1862). Her efforts were so admired that she was buried with full military honors, with the procession including several Alabama congressman and former Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston. (Section 1, Grave 12-A)

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