IDENTIFIED: Jack Marvin Redman

Thanks to the the ever-alert and excellently informative commenter TF, I’m honored to pass along the word that another of Tarawa’s missing Marines is on his way home.

This is Jack Marvin Redman.


Jack Redman was born and raised in Watseka, Illinois. An excellent football player, Redman made the local news playing in high school games and parlayed his skills and intelligence into a spot at the University of Illinois, starting his freshman year in 1942.

Jack Redman with his Delta Sigma Phi brothers, 1942. University of Illinois "Illio," 1943.
Jack Redman with his Delta Sigma Phi brothers, 1942. University of Illinois “Illio,” 1943.

Redman left college to enlist in the Marine Corps on January 30, 1943, at the age of nineteen. After completing boot camp at Recruit Depot San Diego, Redman attended engineering school and studied bridgelaying before shipping out to the Pacific with the 26th Replacement Battalion. On October 10, 1943, he joined Headquarters Company, Third Battalion, 6th Marines.

Private Redman probably had little time or inclination to celebrate on his twentieth birthday–November 17. His regiment was on its way to an island they never knew existed, a tiny speck called Betio in the Tarawa atoll.

Within a week, Jack Redman was dead and buried. Reportedly shot by a hidden Japanese sniper, the young Marine was buried near where he fell–and lay there, unnoticed, for nearly seventy years.

In 2014, a recovery team acting on a find from a Betio resident, unearthed the grave of Jack Marvin Redman. Circumstantial evidence and a DNA match led to Redman’s official identification in December, 2014. The find was officially confirmed by the DPAA last week.

On May 16, Jack Redman will be buried in Watseka’s GAR cemetery–in a plot that his parents purchased, in hopes they would one day get to say goodbye. Guy and Hazel never got that chance, but the Redman family will be well represented at the funeral. His brother Merrill Redman, who provided the DNA match solving Jack’s case, said “I feel like I’ve spent my whole life looking for my brother. And now he’s finally coming home.”

Semper Fi, Private Redman. And welcome home, Jack.

For the official announcement released May 8 2015, visit the DPAA. For further information and more pictures, visit Chief Rick Stone.

One Reply to “IDENTIFIED: Jack Marvin Redman”

  1. Thank you so much for having this site. [Beyond saying that, I’m speechless.]

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