Another Tarawa veteran returned home

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Dave55, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

  2. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Can you post it, I am receiving this when you click the link
    Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 16.18.15.png
  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    1,000 Americans killed and some 2,000 wounded in only three days of fighting at Tarawa. That casualty rate equals or exceeds our disaster at Dieppe.

    Reading Eugene Sledge opened my eyes to the horrific battles the Marines fought on those Pacific islands.
    Dave55 likes this.
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron


    HAMILTON, Ohio —

    A life lost in a foreign land in combat was not forgotten at home on American soil.

    The remains of a Butler County man killed in action during World War II are finally coming home.

    On Thursday, dozens of bikers from the Patriot Guards, Marine Corps Riders, Rolling Thunder and Combat Veterans came together to give Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. William E. Brandenburg, 19, of New Miami, Ohio, the hero's welcome he deserved.

    Brandenburg died in battle on Nov. 22, 1943.

    Brandenburg was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island.

    Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. The Japanese were virtually annihilated.

    Brandenburg was killed in the third day of battle. His body was identified in late 2018, and now after more than 75 years, is returning home.

    In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. Reports indicate that Brandenburg was buried in the Central Division Cemetery, later renamed Cemetery #26. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio in 1946 and 1947, but Brandenburg’s remains were not identified.

    All of the remains found on Tarawa were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory for identification in 1947. By 1949, the remains that had not been identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including one set, designated Tarawa Unknown X-074.

    In October 2016, military officials said they disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-074 from the NMCP for identification. He was identified soon after.

    "It gives great meaning that we're bringing these soldiers back home, giving them the respect that they deserve and giving the family the closure," retired Fairfield Fire chief David Downie said.

    Brandenburg's great-niece never got to meet her uncle, but she told Patriot Guard ride Capt. Frank Papia that his absence was felt throughout the generations.

    "It was just something missing in that family. She's kind of sad that his mother had passed without knowing his final disposition," Papia said.

    Many of Brandenburg's family went to their graves not knowing what had happened to him.

    Now the family's missing hero has been given back to them with great honor.

    Brandenburg is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

    He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings.

    Brandenburg will be buried Saturday, in Hamilton, Ohio. Funeral service will be held at Brown Dawson Flick Funeral Home, 1350 Millville Ave., at noon.

    Burial with full military honors will follow at Hickory Flat Cemetery.

    Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the funeral home.
    canuck, Guy Hudson and Tricky Dicky like this.
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    I can't find the quote at the moment but I remember reading one American general said he expected the battle to last 1 to 2 days with minimal casualties after the naval bombardment.
    canuck likes this.
  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    War cemeteries are eternal monuments to military leaders like that.

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