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Friday, July 10, 2015

Remains of 36 Marines, including Medal of Honor recipient, killed 70 years ago in WWII battle recovered on remote Pacific island

These long-missing heroes are headed home.

A group has uncovered the bodies of 36 U.S. Marines, including a Medal of Honor recipient, who were killed during a fierce fight more than 70 years ago in the remote Gilbert Islands.

First Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr. was among the men found in May in Cemetery 27 on the tiny Pacific Ocean atoll of Betio in Kiribati, according to Mark Noah, the director of History Flight, an organization which helps recover military members deemed missing in action.

Noah notes that more than 1,000 Americans died fighting Japanese forces in Kiribati, in the 1943 Battle of Tarawa.

The missing Marines were declared “unrecoverable” in 1949 by the Quartermaster General’s Office, according to the group. But a 10-year, multi-million dollar effort by History Flight culminated in the historic, and emotional, find in May.



Anonymous said...


don Skidmore said...

bring them home and lets give them the recognition they deserve,not like the missing heroes of the vietnam conflict SEMPER FI and God bless A merica

Anonymous said...

GOD bless all who stayed with it to recover these brave souls. GOD be with all of you.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding Marines. Your duty is done, and for that I, We Thank you! SEMPER FI MARINES.

GySgt HBL Ret.
Powellville MD

Anonymous said...

It's not been long since the last WW2 Japanese soldier surfaced on one of those islands.Every war has some who don't know it's over for a while,but that guy was still in uniform when found and displayed hostilty toward those who discovered him.He was really old.