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.