WW2 Marines from La., Mo., to be buried Friday
Tue, 2013-10-15 14:37 Harlan Kirgan
Killed in flight from Espiritu Santo island
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Pentagon’s POW/Missing Personnel Office says the remains of two World War II Marines from Louisiana and Missouri will be buried Friday with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
Capt. Henry S. White, 23, of Kansas City, and Staff Sgt. Thomas Meek, 19, of Lisbon, died when their SBD-4 Dauntless dive bomber crashed in what is now Vanuatu during a night training flight on July 21, 1943.
The plane took off from Turtle Bay Airfield on Espiritu Santo island and was reported as crashed on a coral cliff on nearby Mavea Island. According to a news release, a U.S. Army Graves Registration Service team investigated the crash site in 1947 but did not recover any remains. An excavation last year found U.S. and Australian coins dating to 1942 and earlier, human remains, a captain’s bars and Meek’s military ID tag.
Because no individual identification was possible, the men will be buried in a single casket.
More than 400,000 American service members were killed during World War II. The remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified.