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Sergeant James Ernest (Buck) Karnes was born on July 20, 1889 in Arlington, Tennessee and died on July 7, 1966. He was from Knoxville and served with the 117th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division in France. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville.

Some photographs below were provided by WBIR in Knoxville, TN, as well as by his grandson, David Carrier.

Information on the photo with President Kennedy:
Knoxville World War I hero James E. “Buck” Karnes shaking hands with President Kennedy at a reception for Medal of Honor winners at the White House, May 1963. He was accompanied by his eldest daughter, Mae Bess Karnes Carrier.



  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 20 July 1889
  • Date of death: 7 July 1966
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Army
  • Division/Assignment: Company D, 117th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War I
  • Battles: St. Mihiel, Estrees
  • Awards: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, France Croix de Guerre, British Distinguished Conduct Medal, French Military Medal, Montenegran Bravery Medal
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville, Knox County, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VII, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor James E. Karnes

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