Remains of 22 servicemembers killed 76 years ago in Battle of Tarawa return to US soil

Marine Corps pallbearers salute the remains of an unidentified servicemember being returned from Tarawa during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. WYATT OLSON/STARS AND STRIPES
Marine Corps pallbearers salute the remains of an unidentified servicemember being returned from Tarawa during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. WYATT OLSON/STARS AND STRIPES

Remains of 22 servicemembers killed 76 years ago in Battle of Tarawa return to US soil

by Wyatt Olson
Stars and Stripes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Cases holding the remains of at least 22 servicemembers killed in the ferocious Battle of Tarawa during World War II were solemnly carried by Marine Corps pallbearers from a C-17 plane into a crowd-filled hangar during a ceremony here Wednesday evening.

“Although more than 75 years have passed, we’re here in formation tonight to honor and welcome home our fellow Marines, brothers in arms who fell long ago in battle, enabling the freedom and security we’ve enjoyed since the end of World War II,” Lt. Gen. Lewis Craparotta, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, told those in attendance.

“As part of the 18,000 Marines in the battle, their actions changed the world for the better in the face of tremendous adversity, their honor, courage and commitment on display for the world to see,” he said.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency transferred the remains from Tarawa in 22 cases, though remains from additional servicemembers could possibly be commingled with them.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.590791

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