Home News Marine killed at Tarawa in WWII to be brought home for burial

Marine killed at Tarawa in WWII to be brought home for burial

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Marines from the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. (8th and I) and the United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own”, participate in the full honors funeral of U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony Guerriero in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 14, 2017.

Assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division in 1943, Guerriero died when his division attempted to secure the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll from the Japanese.

Though the battle lasted several days, Guerriero died on the second day of battle, Nov. 21, 1943. Initially, after the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. Service Members were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island.

In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio Island (but Guerriero’s remains were not recovered).

By 1949, all remains yet to be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In October 2016, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-049 from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

These remains were identified as Guerriero through mitochondrial DNA that matched his family, as well as dental records.

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