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WW2 Tarawa's lost Marines

This is a discussion on WW2 Tarawa's lost Marines within the Military forums, part of the US Discussion category; Dog Boy I am interested in anything you can tell me about findings near Red Beach Two. Looking for men from the 1st Battalion, 8th ...


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Old 10-02-2012, 10:30 PM
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Dog Boy

I am interested in anything you can tell me about findings near Red Beach Two. Looking for men from the 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment, Company C. Thank you in advance for your time.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
The source is an article in "Semper Fi", the magazine of the Marine Corps League from a book Tarawa's Gravediggers by Bill Niven.. Apparently the Army KIA in Europe during WW2 were respected and the temporary graves marked as well as possible. Not so in the Pacific where Marines got the shitty end of the stick, the bulldozing of the Marine graves on Tarawa. During the 72 hour battle the Marines sustained 1,027 KIA which were buried in mass graves in 42 temporary cemeteries by Marine engineers and Navy See Bees. Official records indicate 1,027 Marines buried but other records indicate 1266 including Navy personnel. Here's where it gets bad. See Bees were instructed by the War dept to turn Tarawa into an air base and every cemetary was bulldozed. In a March 1944 photo op for Life Magazine the War department erected a nice field of crosses but there was nothing under them. To add insult to injury the Navy Dept tried to comfort the families of lost Marines with conflicting stories about being buried at sea. In one account the family of a Marine Medal of Honor Lt. was told by the Lt's platoon of the respectful way they buried him in one of the temporary cemeteries and years later the Navy Dept sent them a letter saying that the Lt was buried at sea which they knew was a lie. Today the researchers are still trying to piece the honored Marine dead from abandoned junk piles left on Tarawa.
In the Pacific there was a need to get the bodies underground as soon as possible. There were few Graves Registration teams in the Pacific for either the army or the navy, (marines) and the burials were always a problem. Another problem in the Pacific was that the battles were often sudden and overwhelming and burials often occurred where the bodies were. Later, some of this was remedied with graves registration teams.
At this moment I believe America still has teams in the Pacific looking for the dead, and the Japanese are also still searching for their dead.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:16 PM
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I first became aware of this years ago. the Leon Cooper story and what he found when he got there. a horrific mess. when it was finally cleaned up they started digging


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009 – The remains of more than 100 marines who were killed during the battle of Tarawa appear to have been discovered in mass graves on the tiny Pacific atoll, according to a group that conducted a search with ground-penetrating radar this fall.

story


they widened the search to near by islands. and found more on Makin island. the Japanese are still hunting their own

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by regent View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
The source is an article in "Semper Fi", the magazine of the Marine Corps League from a book Tarawa's Gravediggers by Bill Niven.. Apparently the Army KIA in Europe during WW2 were respected and the temporary graves marked as well as possible. Not so in the Pacific where Marines got the shitty end of the stick, the bulldozing of the Marine graves on Tarawa. During the 72 hour battle the Marines sustained 1,027 KIA which were buried in mass graves in 42 temporary cemeteries by Marine engineers and Navy See Bees. Official records indicate 1,027 Marines buried but other records indicate 1266 including Navy personnel. Here's where it gets bad. See Bees were instructed by the War dept to turn Tarawa into an air base and every cemetary was bulldozed. In a March 1944 photo op for Life Magazine the War department erected a nice field of crosses but there was nothing under them. To add insult to injury the Navy Dept tried to comfort the families of lost Marines with conflicting stories about being buried at sea. In one account the family of a Marine Medal of Honor Lt. was told by the Lt's platoon of the respectful way they buried him in one of the temporary cemeteries and years later the Navy Dept sent them a letter saying that the Lt was buried at sea which they knew was a lie. Today the researchers are still trying to piece the honored Marine dead from abandoned junk piles left on Tarawa.
In the Pacific there was a need to get the bodies underground as soon as possible. There were few Graves Registration teams in the Pacific for either the army or the navy, (marines) and the burials were always a problem. Another problem in the Pacific was that the battles were often sudden and overwhelming and burials often occurred where the bodies were. Later, some of this was remedied with graves registration teams.
At this moment I believe America still has teams in the Pacific looking for the dead, and the Japanese are also still searching for their dead.

Yeah right, does anyone not know about biological effects on a dead body? Try talking about facts instead of cliches. The Tarawa battle was overwhelming to the Japanese rather the Americans. The US knew where the "temporary" cemetery was but they chose to destroy it because it was in the way. The coverup is always worse than the crime and the Navy apparently chose to lie to the families of dead Heroes rather than fess up to the really bad decision.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:29 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by regent View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
The source is an article in "Semper Fi", the magazine of the Marine Corps League from a book Tarawa's Gravediggers by Bill Niven.. Apparently the Army KIA in Europe during WW2 were respected and the temporary graves marked as well as possible. Not so in the Pacific where Marines got the shitty end of the stick, the bulldozing of the Marine graves on Tarawa. During the 72 hour battle the Marines sustained 1,027 KIA which were buried in mass graves in 42 temporary cemeteries by Marine engineers and Navy See Bees. Official records indicate 1,027 Marines buried but other records indicate 1266 including Navy personnel. Here's where it gets bad. See Bees were instructed by the War dept to turn Tarawa into an air base and every cemetary was bulldozed. In a March 1944 photo op for Life Magazine the War department erected a nice field of crosses but there was nothing under them. To add insult to injury the Navy Dept tried to comfort the families of lost Marines with conflicting stories about being buried at sea. In one account the family of a Marine Medal of Honor Lt. was told by the Lt's platoon of the respectful way they buried him in one of the temporary cemeteries and years later the Navy Dept sent them a letter saying that the Lt was buried at sea which they knew was a lie. Today the researchers are still trying to piece the honored Marine dead from abandoned junk piles left on Tarawa.
In the Pacific there was a need to get the bodies underground as soon as possible. There were few Graves Registration teams in the Pacific for either the army or the navy, (marines) and the burials were always a problem. Another problem in the Pacific was that the battles were often sudden and overwhelming and burials often occurred where the bodies were. Later, some of this was remedied with graves registration teams.
At this moment I believe America still has teams in the Pacific looking for the dead, and the Japanese are also still searching for their dead.

Yeah right, does anyone not know about biological effects on a dead body? Try talking about facts instead of cliches. The Tarawa battle was overwhelming to the Japanese rather the Americans. The US knew where the "temporary" cemetery was but they chose to destroy it because it was in the way. The coverup is always worse than the crime and the Navy apparently chose to lie to the families of dead Heroes rather than fess up to the really bad decision.
no need for any cover up here. this was the first Pacific battle they released photos of the dead. and it back fired creating an outrage nation wide. with many calling for the Navy and Marine top brass to be Court martialed and shot. the pulic was just a little biased. all they wanted was pics of "dead Japs".
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by namvet View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by regent View Post

In the Pacific there was a need to get the bodies underground as soon as possible. There were few Graves Registration teams in the Pacific for either the army or the navy, (marines) and the burials were always a problem. Another problem in the Pacific was that the battles were often sudden and overwhelming and burials often occurred where the bodies were. Later, some of this was remedied with graves registration teams.
At this moment I believe America still has teams in the Pacific looking for the dead, and the Japanese are also still searching for their dead.

Yeah right, does anyone not know about biological effects on a dead body? Try talking about facts instead of cliches. The Tarawa battle was overwhelming to the Japanese rather the Americans. The US knew where the "temporary" cemetery was but they chose to destroy it because it was in the way. The coverup is always worse than the crime and the Navy apparently chose to lie to the families of dead Heroes rather than fess up to the really bad decision.
no need for any cover up here. this was the first Pacific battle they released photos of the dead. and it back fired creating an outrage nation wide. with many calling for the Navy and Marine top brass to be Court martialed and shot. the pulic was just a little biased. all they wanted was pics of "dead Japs".
Maybe you missed the point. There was no demand for "photos of the dead" and no outrage and surely no call for Marine top brass to be shot. They bulldozed a Marine cemetery and they told families that the heroes were buried at sea.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:21 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by namvet View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by regent View Post

In the Pacific there was a need to get the bodies underground as soon as possible. There were few Graves Registration teams in the Pacific for either the army or the navy, (marines) and the burials were always a problem. Another problem in the Pacific was that the battles were often sudden and overwhelming and burials often occurred where the bodies were. Later, some of this was remedied with graves registration teams.
At this moment I believe America still has teams in the Pacific looking for the dead, and the Japanese are also still searching for their dead.

Yeah right, does anyone not know about biological effects on a dead body? Try talking about facts instead of cliches. The Tarawa battle was overwhelming to the Japanese rather the Americans. The US knew where the "temporary" cemetery was but they chose to destroy it because it was in the way. The coverup is always worse than the crime and the Navy apparently chose to lie to the families of dead Heroes rather than fess up to the really bad decision.
no need for any cover up here. this was the first Pacific battle they released photos of the dead. and it back fired creating an outrage nation wide. with many calling for the Navy and Marine top brass to be Court martialed and shot. the pulic was just a little biased. all they wanted was pics of "dead Japs".
FDR had been asked by the press if they could post pictures of American dead and the first picture released were of GI's of the 32nd Division, the place, a beach at Buna, New Guinea. Buna was the first stopping of the Japanese advance and was secured in Jan. 43. Guadalcanal was secured the following month.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:24 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
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Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post


Yeah right, does anyone not know about biological effects on a dead body? Try talking about facts instead of cliches. The Tarawa battle was overwhelming to the Japanese rather the Americans. The US knew where the "temporary" cemetery was but they chose to destroy it because it was in the way. The coverup is always worse than the crime and the Navy apparently chose to lie to the families of dead Heroes rather than fess up to the really bad decision.
no need for any cover up here. this was the first Pacific battle they released photos of the dead. and it back fired creating an outrage nation wide. with many calling for the Navy and Marine top brass to be Court martialed and shot. the pulic was just a little biased. all they wanted was pics of "dead Japs".
Maybe you missed the point. There was no demand for "photos of the dead" and no outrage and surely no call for Marine top brass to be shot. They bulldozed a Marine cemetery and they told families that the heroes were buried at sea.
you missed the cameramen to. During Word War II, Norman Hatch was a combat cameraman who witnessed — and filmed — some of the most bitter fighting in the Pacific theater. His efforts ended with, of all things, an Academy Award — for footage so brutal that it took special permission from President Franklin Roosevelt to allow his short documentary to be shown as a newsreel.

Hatch was a cinematographer and combat photographer during World War II. He won an Academy Award for his footage of the amphibious assault at the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.

WWII Combat Cameraman: 'The Public Had To Know' : NPR
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:30 PM
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@ whitehall

Numerous books and articles have explored every detail of the World War II assault on Tarawa, a battle that ranks alongside Iwo Jima and Okinawa as one of the most significant in the history of U.S. amphibious warfare. For many Americans, however, Tarawa's most memorable product was the detailed account of the battle recorded from 20 to 23 November 1943 by the 20 journalists and photographers who accompanied U.S. Marines into battle.

Among the astounding photographic products of the battle was a 19-minute Academy Award-winning documentary, With the Marines at Tarawa (1944), which featured some of the most stunning images ever taken of warfare, including the only picture of Japanese naval infantry and U.S. Marines on the ground together in action. Also included were compelling scenes of the severe casualties resulting from the assault on the heavily defended atoll. These sobering images shocked the public, which was still digesting the first published pictures of dead U.S. servicemen, including George Strock's timeless image a month earlier in Life magazine of three GIs sprawled on Buna Beach in New Guinea.

Movie-star-turned-Marine Captain Louis Hayward led the team of photographers who filmed With the Marines at Tarawa . Known mostly for his swashbuckling roles, Hayward was poised to become one of Hollywood's leading men but was determined to join the armed forces of either Britain or the United States on the eve of World War II. The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Shortly thereafter, Hayward was assigned to the 2d Division as a photographic officer.

http://www.usni.org/magazines/procee...marines-tarawa
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:37 PM
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Military "intelligence" failed to take the quirky Tarawa tidal flow into account and as a result Marines had to land on a reef instead of the shoreline. That having been said the freaking point isn't about FDR's photo restrictions or the bad intelligence or the Japanese resistance or Marine heroism. It's about the Navy bulldozing a Marine Cemetery because it was in the way and then trying to cover it up by claiming the Marines had been "buried at sea".
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:41 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Military "intelligence" failed to take the quirky Tarawa tidal flow into account and as a result Marines had to land on a reef instead of the shoreline. That having been said the freaking point isn't about FDR's photo restrictions or the bad intelligence or the Japanese resistance or Marine heroism. It's about the Navy bulldozing a Marine Cemetery because it was in the way and then trying to cover it up by claiming the Marines had been "buried at sea".
they were picked up by amtracks and taken to the beach. and FDR released the photos and film to the public. THAT was my point

let's see the bulldozer. if you please
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:45 PM
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and


on another note...

I saw a special on a former marine who went back years ago and was trying to get the mayor, provincial official of Tarawa to clean the areas where in they think, graves or burial sites exist, the ares were over run with refuse....
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:50 PM
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History Flight cadaver dog search on USMC cemetery 27 Tarawa - YouTube


and

Footage of 2 US Marine skeletons found on Tarawa By History Flight April 2010 - YouTube

on another note...

I saw a special on a former marine who went back years ago and was trying to get the mayor, provincial official of Tarawa to clean the areas where in they think, graves or burial sites exist, the ares were over run with refuse....
Leon Cooper
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:54 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by namvet View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Military "intelligence" failed to take the quirky Tarawa tidal flow into account and as a result Marines had to land on a reef instead of the shoreline. That having been said the freaking point isn't about FDR's photo restrictions or the bad intelligence or the Japanese resistance or Marine heroism. It's about the Navy bulldozing a Marine Cemetery because it was in the way and then trying to cover it up by claiming the Marines had been "buried at sea".
they were picked up by amtracks and taken to the beach. and FDR released the photos and film to the public. THAT was my point

let's see the bulldozer. if you please
not all of them, a lot of them used the wharf as protection from enfilade fire and those 77's the japs had looking right down their throats.

Bloody Tarawa: Eric M. Hammel,John E. Lane: 9780935553338: Amazon.com: Books Bloody Tarawa: Eric M. Hammel,John E. Lane: 9780935553338: Amazon.com: Books

and;






oh and the movie The Battle of San Pietro was held back by the DoA due to its graphic nature and its 'apparent' anti war message, which I disagree was anti war really....its worth a view.
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Quote: Originally Posted by namvet View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
History Flight cadaver dog search on USMC cemetery 27 Tarawa - YouTube


and

Footage of 2 US Marine skeletons found on Tarawa By History Flight April 2010 - YouTube

on another note...

I saw a special on a former marine who went back years ago and was trying to get the mayor, provincial official of Tarawa to clean the areas where in they think, graves or burial sites exist, the ares were over run with refuse....
Leon Cooper
roger, thats the marine, thx.
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“It is ultimately a cruel misunderstanding of youth to believe it will find its heart’s desire in freedom, when truly, its deepest desire is to obey.” ( Der Zauberberg)


Barack Obama -Inaugural Address Jan 2009; "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. . . . Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

Barack Obama- Friday June 2013; "I think it's important to recognize that you can't have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society."
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