Warren is one of the few Air Force installations with a base cemetery.
The Base Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 850 deceased military personnel and dependents. Burials date from November 1867 and include an Italian and 8 German POWs who died here during WWII
The cemetery was established in 1867 by Gen. John D. Stevenson, post commander, when he set aside 40 acres of land to use as a cemetery.
The original plans called for the sections to be segregated; Section A would contain officers, Section B and C were to be reserved for enlisted, and Section D for civilians and dependents. However, this segregation never came to fruition.
The base cemetery dates back to Fort D. A. Russell, with the burial of Pvt. John Saunders and Pvt. Maurice Gorman, both with Company G, in December 1867. It was not until February 1868 that an officer, Capt. James Cahill, Company K, 2nd Cavalry was interred. And the first civilian buried there is John Woodruff.
In 1869, the cemetery contained 21 bodies. Since then, it has grown to its current size, and is no longer being filled, except for relatives who have spaces reserved near their next of kin.
Just outside the southeast corner of the main cemetery fence is a separate enclosure holding the remains of one Italian and nine German prisoners of war.
The cemetery is maintained by the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron's base grounds maintenance team. They are responsible for prepping burial sites prior to a funeral as well as general grounds keeping.
"Anybody can view the cemetery," said Staff Sgt. Rhondalyn Bess, 90th Force Support Squadron mortuary affairs NCO-in-charge. "For those who don't have access to the base, they can get sponsored on by the mortuary affairs staff."
For more information about the base cemetery, call the mortuary affairs office at 773-3727, or Mike Byrd, 20th Air Force historian, at 773-6062.