THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO THE 'UNITED STATES UNKNOWN WARRIOR' IN ARLINGTON CEMETERY, VIRGINIA
11 October 2015


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"HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD"

As can be seen by any visitor to Westminster Abbey, a Congressional Medal Honor was bestowed by the United States Government on the British Unknown Warrior and this gesture was reciprocated with the presentation of a Victoria Cross to the American Unknown Warrior. The ceremony at the Arlington National Ceremony, Virginia, to present the VC, was performed by Earl Beatty on 11 November 1921.


On Memorial Day, 1921, four unknowns were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sergeant Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decoraed for valor and received the Distinguished Service Medal in "The Great War, the war to end all wars", selected the Unknown Soldier of World War I from four identical caskets at the city hall in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, 24 October 1921.

Sergeant Younger selected the unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets. He chose the third casket from the left. The chosen unknown soldier was transported to the United States aboard the USS Olympia. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France.






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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington D.C. On 4 March 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. To the West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of the unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.






US & foreign decorations bestowed on the US Unknown Soldier,
  • Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Distinguished Service Cross ( DSC )
  • US Purple Heart
  • Victoria Cross
  • Chevalier, Legion d'Honeur ( France )
  • Medaille Militaire ( France )
  • Croix de Guerre ( France )
  • Order of Military Valour ( Poland )
  • Military Virtue Medal ( Rumania )
  • Medaglia d'oro al Valore Militare ( Italy )
  • Croix de Guerre ( Belgium )
  • War Cross ( Czechoslovakia )


The images above were supplied courtesy Bill Mullin, the well known Canadian researcher into the award of the US Medal of Honor and the Victoria Cross.

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Iain Stewart, 11 October 2015