A Bakersfield High School student has discovered Kern County’s third medal of honor veteran, Milo Lemert.
Lemert’s name has been etched on the Veterans Memorial for nearly a decade, hidden in plain sight.
“When you read Milo Lemert’s Medal of Honor citation, it’s very clear that he absolutely went above and beyond the call of duty,” said BHS history and archiving teacher, Ken Hooper. “There are only two other people from Kern County that have been the recipient of the Medal of Honor.”
In Hooper’s archiving class, he assigns each student a World War I solider to research. When senior Jocelyn Ramirez looked up Milo Lemert, a light bulb went off.
“I’m honored because I get to contribute to my community,” Ramirez said.
“Jocelyn finding Milo Lemert received the Medal of Honor just changed the history of Kern County,” Hooper told his class.
After a bit of research, Hooper discovered Lemert lived in Taft around age 19, working for the Union Oil Company. Ten years later, he became a first sergeant in the U.S. Army.
“He went to France with the American expeditionary force. He led an attack on German lines,” Hooper said.
Lemert successfully destroyed three German machine gun encampments, saving hundreds of ally lives. However, the fourth attack took his life.
Now, Hooper and his students have made it their mission to ensure this piece of history is preserved.
“This is a high honor for him as a soldier, but us as a county,” Hooper said.
They’ll remember Lemert’s courageous last words: “I’m all finished. Give them hell.”
Lemert will be memorialized in the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery downtown next to Kern’s two other Medal of Honor recipients.
Here is his full citation.