Accounted For: Louis Wiesehan, Jr.

Today, the DPAA announced that PFC Louis Wiesehan, Junior, of Richmond, Indiana has been accounted for. Read their press release here.

The following biography is courtesy of Jennifer S. Morrison,
and is shared by permission.

The Palladium Item, 3 April 1942.

On February 16, 1923, Louis Wiesehan, Jr became the eldest son and 2nd of three children blessed to the union of Louis Fred and Marie (Macke) Wiesehan.

Born and raised in Richmond, Indiana, Louis and his family enjoyed their home at 308 North 21st Street; and Joan, Louis and Dick all graduated from Richmond High School.

Two months after the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor (and just 7 days shy of his 19th birthday), Louis took a trip to Indianapolis to enlist in the Marine Corps. Louis would be stationed at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia and Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Elizabeth City, North Carolina wthin that year before he shipped out into the Pacific Theater.

Private First Class Wiesehan was with his brothers in Fox Company, 2nd Battalion of the 8th Marines (F-2-8) when they landed on Betio as part of Operation: GALVANIC. Their mission was to secure the island in order to control the Japanese airstrip in the Tarawa Atoll; thereby preventing the Japanese Imperial forces from getting closer to the United States, and enabling US forces to get closer to mainland Japan. It would become one of the bloodiest battles in the Corps history.

The Palladium Item, 28 June 1944

It was November 21st, 1943 (D+1 for the “Battle of Tarawa”), when young Louis – just 20 years old – perished.

“Louis’ ability, attention to duty, and willingness to serve was always exemplary, since joining this company and during the time he served with me. He made many friends who join with you in mourning his demise.”

Captain Martin F. Barrett, F/2/8th Marines.

In 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company (604th GRC) centralized all of the American remains found on Tarawa to Lone Palm Cemetery for later repatriation; however, almost half of the known casualties were never found. No recovered remains could be associated with PFC Wiesehan, and in October 1949, a Board of Review declared him β€œnon-recoverable.”

Left to mourn his passing were Louis’ mother, sister Joan Rose (Wiesehan) Manlief and brother, Richard Omer Wiesehan.

The Wiesehan family suffered two terrible losses in 1943 – father and son.
The Palladium Item, 24 December 1943.

On September 23, 2019, the DPAA officially announced that Louis had been accounted for. He will soon be returned to his family to be laid to rest in American soil.

Louis’ name is permanently inscribed on Court 4 of the “Courts of the Missing” at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Welcome home, PFC Wiesehan. Semper Fi.

We are actively seeking information for PFC Wiesehan’s profile page.

Are you a family member or former comrade of this Marine? Do you have stories or photos to share? Please contact MissingMarines and help us tell his story.

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