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On November 20 to November 23, 1943, the Battle of Tarawa took place in the Pacific Theater of World War II at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
During this battle, nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans and U.S. Americans died during the fight.
During the battle more than 990 U.S. Marines and 30 of the Navy Sailors lost their lives during the three day fight of Tarawa. Our Marines who lost their lives happened at the machine gun fire when their boats got stuck in the reef during the U.S. amphibious assault.
The score of Americans who did make it to the beach died a brutal death during the hand-to-hand combat.
The organization called History Flight is “a non-governmental organization dedicated to finding, recovering and repatriating American’s war dead to American soil.”
History Flight set out to recover the remains from the Pacific atoll of Tarawa. The remains that were recovered were 36 U.S. Marines who were killed during the WW II Tarawa battle.
The group started to identify the remains and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is set to complete the identifying efforts. The Marines plan to return the remains to the family members when they have identified the remains.
The Marines are having a ceremony in Pearl Harbor to mark the return of the fallen soldiers…
The battle was so brutal that during the 1943 fight, the military buried the fallen in a mass grave. The graves were soon to be disturbed by the Navy when they quickly built a landing strip in order to prepare for an attack on the next Pacific Island.
Among the recovered fallen Marines, the History Flight positively identified B-26 Crew Members: William Cook, Ward Swallwell, Eric Honeyman, these members were returned to their families along with Captain Richard Vincent too.
General Joseph Dunford, the commandant of the Marines Corps, said, “It was also the first contested landing against a heavily fortified enemy, and a turning point in the development in our amphibious capability. The lessons learned at Tarawa paid the way for our success int he Pacific campaign and eventual end to the war.”
General Dunford said in a statement that he was pleased that the remains were discovered at the service’s most significant battle areas.

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