b. 20/07/1889 Arlington, Tennessee. d. 08/07/1966 USA.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08/10/1918 Estrees, France.
James Ernest "Buck" Karnes (July 20, 1889–July 8, 1966), was born in Arlington, Tennessee and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. Karnes entered active duty with the United States Army's 117th Regiment from the Tennessee National Guard during World War I. On October 8, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Karnes' company was stopped near Estrées, France by a German machine gun position. Karnes and Private Calvin John Ward, deciding they had "had all they could take" of this situation, fixed bayonets, charged and captured the position. This freed their company to advance against German lines in the last major offensive of the war. Both men received the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in this action.
The Alcoa Highway (U.S. Route 129) bridge over the Tennessee River in Knoxville is named after Karnes.
During an advance, his company was held up by a machinegun, which was enfilading the line. Accompanied by another soldier, he advanced against this position and succeeded in reducing the nest by killing 3 and capturing 7 of the enemy and their guns.
BURIAL LOCATION: GREENWOOD CEMETERY, KNOXVILLEE, TENNESSEE.
Section 8, Lot 2 Grave 9
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