Last Days

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

Three months before Pearl Harbor, two Marine aviators took off from Ewa Field and vanished into the blue Hawaiian sky.

Nine months after the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay, a veteran fighter pilot took off from a new escort carrier and vanished into the blue Hawaiian sea.

Between the disappearance of Sergeants Yentoch and McMahon and the accidental death of First Lieutenant Larche, hundreds of incidents cost the lives of thousands of Marines and corpsmen. The stories of their last days paint a unique picture of the human cost of war.

Note: “Last Days” are determined by the last date an individual was seen alive.
“Declared dead” dates may differ.
1941: Opening Moves
73 individuals
2 accounted for
1942: Desperate Measures
577 individuals
3 accounted for
1943: Bloody Lessons
945 individuals
60 accounted for
1944: Turning Tides
926 individuals
9 accounted for
1945: Home Alive in ’45
534 individuals
1 accounted for
1946: Aftermath
15 individuals