Missing Marines

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, any nickname they could imagine and many long forgotten. 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 more than 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.

Mrs. Ann Lyons wrote this letter fifteen years after her son, Cpl. Robert R. Lyons landed on Guadalcanal. Robert was killed on the infamous Goettge Patrol of 8 August, 1942. His remains were never recovered.
Mrs. Ann Lyons wrote this letter fifteen years after her son, Cpl. Robert R. Lyons was listed as missing in action on Guadalcanal.

There are many database sites that one can search for names or serial numbers.
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.

Panel 1

Names & Faces

Marines Archie Shelton and Robert J. Brown at Cavite Navy Yard, 1941.
Shelton died as a POW in 1945. Brown was killed in action on Bataan in 1942.
Courtesy of Andrew Brown.
Browse the names of more than three thousand servicemen.
This section is a work in progress – check back for updates.
Group Able
96 Names
Group Baker
308 Names
Group Charlie
215 Names
Group Dog
122 Names
Group Easy
50 Names
Group Fox
97 Names
Group George
152 Names
Group How
258 Names
Group Item
7 Names
Group Jig
70 Names
Group King
141 Names
Group Love
146 Names
Group Mike
319 Names
Group Nan
54 Names
Group Oboe
34 Names
Group Peter
162 Names
Group Queen
6 Names
Group Roger
159 Names
Group Sugar
324 Names
Group Tare
94 Names
Group Uncle
5 Names
Group Victor
49 Names
Group William
185 Names
Group X-Ray
0 Names
Group Yoke
19 Names
Group Zebra
13 Names
Panel 2

Last Days

2Lt. James H. Marmande and PFC Edby M. Colvin take off to strike a Japanese fleet at the battle of Midway.
Neither Marine returned from their mission.
Still frame from John Ford’s “The Battle of Midway.”

Browse a list of incidents organized by date.

Coming Soon.

Panel 3

Bringing Them Home

A burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery for five Marines
recovered from Guadalcanal in 1972.


Research & Recovery Groups

Recovery Stories

Accounted For

The groups searching for our lost Marines.
Collected tales of those now found.
Finally home.

Panel 4

Recent Investigations

Research efforts undertaken by MissingMarines. Details coming soon.

Panel 5

Projects & Articles

Research articles, visualizations, and mapping of burials.

Coming Soon.