They came from every state in the nation, from every conceivable type of home, from colleges and the CCC. Most were in their late teens or early twenties. They fought on land, at sea, and in the air. They called themselves Marines and corpsmen, “Devil Dog” and “Doc,” gyrene, swabbie, buddy, Mac, Sir, Pop, Chicken, Swede, Red, Dusty; imaginative nicknames that sometimes became their identities and replaced their given names in memory. They died far from home, in jungles, on beaches, trapped within sinking ships or burning airplanes. They were buried, if they could be buried, in solitary graves, temporary cemeteries, or where they fell. And nearly three thousand of them lie there still.
Their families were left with government telegrams, some personal effects, a few photographs. Never enough to replace their loved one, but enough to sustain the hope that he might be alive, somehow, and would come back if only they waited long enough. So they wrote letters, made inquiries, and held on. Some waited a year and a day. Some waited until the war was over. Some waited the rest of their lives. Some are still waiting.
MissingMarines aims to tell the stories of these men,
to preserve their legacy,
to bring closure to their families,
and serve as a resource for the organizations working to bring them home.