Lipinski calls for recovery of remains of those killed on Tarawa in WWII (June 26, 2009)

My Suburban Life
June 26, 2009

La Grange, IL -

US Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) has called for renewed efforts to bring home the remains of more than 500 U.S. service members killed in the World War II Battle of Tarawa.

In an amendment to the defense authorization bill passed by the House of Representatives on June 25, Lipinski said the US should “recover, identify, and return remains of members of the Armed Forces from Tarawa.”

Tarawa was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. More than 1,100 American lives were lost in three days beginning on Nov. 20, 1943.

Lipinski’s amendment urges the Department of Defense to review new research on the location of the remains of U.S. servicemen on Tarawa and to do everything feasible to see that they are recovered. A total of 564 service members remain unaccounted for.

Many of the missing bodies were buried in temporary graves.

Over the last three decades, the remains of several servicemen have been discovered by accident, as a result of construction projects. Recent privately funded research has shed new light on the location of unmarked graves, indicating successful recovery is still possible despite development on Tarawa, part of the independent Republic of Kiribati.