History Flight announces new finds

According to this Associated Press article, Mark Noah and History Flight have located the remains of 13 more Marines lost in the battle of Tarawa – the most recent of which was discovered this week.

Just in time for Memorial Day.

History Flight is, of course, the group responsible for last year’s remarkable discovery of a mass grave on Betio, which contained the bodies of 35 Marines. Twenty-three of these, including Medal of Honor winner 1Lt. Alexander Bonnyman, have since been identified and are either pending return to their families or have been buried with full military honors.

More details will likely be announced in the following days – for now, congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in the ongoing effort.

Learn more about History Flight, read up on the lost graves of Tarawa, or send them a donation to keep the good work going.

3 thoughts on “History Flight announces new finds

  1. Enjoy seeing what has been going on. Could we see the identities of those who have been identified. There are two marines from my family still missing on betio.

    1. Hi Dave,

      History Flight has been working on Betio for about nine years, and have made a number of finds in that time – I don’t want to try listing them all, in case I leave someone out. Their 2015 investigation made headlines both for the size of the grave (35 sets of remains) and because one of the Marines identified was a Medal of Honor winner, 1Lt. Alexander Bonnyman.

      That cemetery was primarily for the 8th Marines (as you can see below), and was designated “8th Marines Cemetery #2). So far, that discovery has resulted in the following identifications:

      1Lt. Alexander Bonnyman (Company F, 2nd Battalion, 18th Marines)
      Cpl. Roger Neilson (Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      Cpl. James Otto (Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC Anthony Broznya (Company G, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC James Johnson (Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC Elmer Mathies (HQ Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC Charles Oetjens (Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC John Prince (Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC James Reilly (Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      PFC John Saini (Company H, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      Pvt. Robert Carter (Company G, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines)
      Pvt. Palmer Haraldson (Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines)

      They’ve compiled a complete list of those recorded buried in that location,

      And they’ve done quite a splendid writeup about the burial situation in toto.

      I’ll be in touch if anything relating to your relatives comes up. Fingers crossed.

      Geoffrey

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