The 13th Annual ETVMA Medal of Honor Evening is Monday, May 6th, 2024.

Tables are now available for purchase online.

To Remember, Honor, Educate, and Inspire…

The East Tennessee Veterans Memorial is a public plaza with a formal arrangement of granite pillars bearing the names of 6316 fallen heroes from 35 East Tennessee counties who died in military service during named conflicts since World War I. It was dedicated and officially unveiled November 15, 2008.

The names of the 15 Medal of Honor recipients from East Tennessee are inscribed and honored on the reverse side of the pillars. Quotations related to the wars and national service offer an occasion for reflection and meditation. A bell tower tolls for those lost, and for the four essential freedoms we honor and defend.

Major support for the Memorial has come from Knox County, the City of Knoxville, the State of Tennessee, the Federal Government, and hundreds of individuals, businesses, and groups.


THE BATTLE FOR IWO JIMA

U.S. Marines invaded Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, after months of naval and air bombardment. The Japanese defenders of the island were dug into bunkers deep within the volcanic rocks. Approximately 70,000 U.S. Marines and 18,000 Japanese soldiers took part in the battle. The Battle for Iwo Jima was an epic military campaign between U.S. Marines and the Imperial Army of Japan in early 1945.

Located 750 miles off the coast of Japan, the island of Iwo Jima had three airfields that could serve as a staging facility for a potential invasion of mainland Japan. American forces invaded the island on February 19, 1945, and the ensuing Battle of Iwo Jima lasted for five weeks. In some of the bloodiest fighting of World War II, it’s believed that all but 200 or so of the 21,000 Japanese forces on the island were killed, as were almost 7,000 Marines. But once the fighting was over, the strategic value of Iwo Jima was called into question.

According to postwar analyses, the Imperial Japanese Navy had been so crippled by earlier World War II clashes in the Pacific that it was already unable to defend the empire’s island holdings, including the Marshall archipelago. In addition, Japan’s air force had lost many of its warplanes, and those it had were unable to protect an inner line of defenses set up by the empire’s military leaders. This line of defenses included islands like Iwo Jima.

Given this information, American military leaders planned an attack on the island that they believed would last no more than a few days. However, the Japanese had secretly embarked on a new defensive tactic, taking advantage of Iwo Jima’s mountainous landscape and jungles to set up camouflaged artillery positions.

Although Allied forces led by the Americans bombarded Iwo Jima with bombs dropped from the sky and heavy gunfire from ships positioned off the coast of the island, the strategy developed by Japanese General Tadamichi Kuribayashi meant that the forces controlling it suffered little damage and were thus ready to repel the initial attack by the U.S. Marines.

Twenty-eight East Tennessee Marines and Sailors died in this five-week campaign — Anderson 1, Blount 2, Cumberland 1, Grainger 1, Greene 2, Hamilton 10, Hawkins 1, Knox 2, Marion 1, McMinn 1, Monroe 1, Sullivan 4, Washington 1.

­Name Branch County
Bright, Jess W. Marine Corps Hawkins
Burch, Harold D. Marine Corps Blount
Byrd Jr, Bernie T. Marine Corps Washington
Cannon, Ralph E. Marine Corps Greene
Carver, Clarence J. Marine Corps Blount
Clasby, Victor E. Navy Sullivan
Coppock, Cecil A. Marine Corps Knox
Eldridge, William F. Marine Corps Hamilton
Foley Jr., James H. Marine Corps Hamilton
Hass, Oliver Navy Marion
Helton Sr., Eugene S. Marine Corps McMinn
Herron, Edward W. Marine Corps Knox
Kerley, Everett R. Marine Corps Cumberland
Long, Horace J. Navy Grainger
Manning, Robert L. Marine Corps Hamilton
McCaslin, H. Richard Marine Corps Monroe
McDaniel, Clyde E. Marine Corps Hamilton
McIntosh, Robert B. Marine Corps Greene
McMillan, James E. Marine Corps Hamilton
Moyers, James L. Marine Corps Jefferson
Musick, Jerrel L. Marine Corps Sullivan
Mynatt, Andrew D. Marine Corps Hamilton
Neal, Thomas B. Marine Corps Sullivan
Russell, Fred O. Marine Corps Sullivan
Satterfield, William E. Marine Corps Hamilton
Simmons, William G. Marine Corps Hamilton
Stewart, Joseph H. Marine Corps Washington
Walsh, James P. Marine Corps Hamilton

 

 




Find A Veteran

The ETVMA has compiled an extensive and constantly growing database of all veterans remembered on the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial. To find information about any veteran on the Memorial, enter a name below.

ETVMA Book now available

Now available: The East Tennessee Veterans Memorial – A Pictorial History of the Names on the Wall, Their Service, and Their Sacrifice by John Romeiser and Jack (Nick) McCall, exclusively from UT Press.

Order now

Updates from ETVMA

The Battle for Iwo Jima

The Battle for Iwo Jima

U.S. Marines invaded Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, after months of naval and air bombardment. The Japanese defenders of the island were dug into bunkers deep within the volcanic rocks. Approximately 70,000 U.S. Marines and 18,000 Japanese soldiers took part in the battle. The Battle for Iwo Jima was an epic military campaign between U.S. […]

Read more →

The Vietnam Tet Offensive, January 1968

The Vietnam Tet Offensive, January 1968

On February 15, 1968, during some of the heaviest fighting of the Tet Offensive, James T. (Tommy) Davis of Meigs County fell to enemy fire as a result of multiple shrapnel wounds. Six other East Tennesseans died during the campaign. Their bios can be found below. On the early morning of January 30, 1968, Viet Cong […]

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Battle of Hürtgen Forest

Battle of Hürtgen Forest

The Battle of Hürtgen Forest (German: Schlacht im Hürtgenwald) was a series of battles fought from 19 September to 16 December 1944, between American and German forces on the Western Front during World War II, in the Hürtgen Forest, a 140 km2 (54 sq mi) area about 5 km (3.1 mi) east of the Belgian–German border.[1] It was the longest […]

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East Tennessee Veterans Memorial at Night

The Memorial

The East Tennessee Veterans Memorial in Knoxville’s World’s Fair Park bears the names of more than 6300 veterans from 35 East Tennessee counties who have died in military service since the beginning of World War I. Those counties are those that comprise the eastern grand division of the state plus Fentress and Sequatchie counties on the Cumberland Plateau.

Explore the Memorial →