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Lynn Marona
Press Release
Mon Aug 14, 2017 22:10

Reed Funeral Home
(A Division of Reed Family Funeral Homes Inc.)
11675 Hwy 28, P.O. Box 69, Whitwell, TN 37397 Phone (423) 658-5516
“Our Family Serving Your Family”

​A World War II soldier's remains have been identified and are being returned home to Whitwell, TN. The Remains of Cpl. Henry Andregg Jr. were identified among over 500 previously unidentified remains left in the aftermath of intense fighting on the Island of Betio, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands. Cpl. Andregg was killed in action on November 20, 1943, in the initial assault.
​On November 20, 1943, The United States launched Operation Galvanic, a military action to secure the Gilbert and Marshall Islands as a strategic stronghold for air and naval operations against the Japanese Imperial Forces. This operation began with the assault of Tarawa. This action was the first of many in the strategic campaign for control of the Central Pacific Region. It was the first time The United States had faced such fierce opposition to beach landings in the Pacific. The Japanese forces had worked for over a year to heavily fortify the Island of Betio. The island was manned by over 5,000 Japanese soldiers and Korean laborers.
​The day of the initial attack, air support never materialized. The orders were given to proceed with the assault, with United States Naval forces providing bombardment from their positions off the island. Marine Corps amphibious tractors and Higgins boats began landing and assault operations. Because of the reef around the lagoon and an unusual southerly tide, many of the amphibious tractors were caught on the reefs, while the Higgins boats were able to clear them and begin landing. Marines in the amphibious tractors were forced to fight from their position, or wade nearly 600 yards to the beach.
​The battle raged for 76 hours, with the United states suffering over 3,000 casualties, with 1,100-1,200 killed on the first day of action. 2,233 casualties were Marines , 59 were sailors, totaling 3,407. Of the nearly 5,000 Japanese military and Korean laborers, only 146 survived the assault.
​In the months that followed the action at Tarawa, The United states was able to mount a successful campaign for the Marshall Islands, from which attacks could be made on the Japanese forces, as well as the Japanese mainland. The islands taken in this action removed important harbors from the Japanese Imperial Navy, and gave the United States a platform to reach Tokyo with strategic bombers.
​There were 5 temporary cemeteries constructed on the island of Betio immediately after the battle. In 1946, the 604 Quartermasters received orders to consolidate those 5 cemeteries into one, called Lone Palm Cemetery. In 1949/1950, those that remained unknown were moved to The Honolulu Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where a memorial was erected. In 2016, the POW/MIA Accounting Agency began the task of identifying the unknowns. Cpl. Andregg was one of many that now can be brought home to rest in peace.
​ A public visitation will be held from 3:00 pm CDT until 7:00pm CDT Thursday, August, 24, and funeral services will be held 10:00 am CDT Friday August 25 in the funeral home chapel of Reed Funeral Home, 11675 Hwy 28. Burial will follow at Noon CDT in The Chattanooga National Cemetery, with full military honors.
​The public, and service men and women are welcome to attend the visitation and services. For those wishing to show support, the procession will leave from Reed Funeral Home at 11:00 CDT on Friday August, 25, and follow Hwy 28 to I-24, exiting at 180A and proceeding to Holtzclaw Ave before arriving at the Chattanooga National Cemetery at 1200 Bailey Ave, Chattanooga, TN

  • CPL Henry Andregg, Jr.Foundation, Tue May 23 13:05
    CPL Henry Andregg, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, C Company, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. In November 2011, Chief Stone, while a... more
    • CPL Henry Andregg, Jr.Foundation, Tue Nov 14 20:16
      CPL Henry Andregg, Jr. was submitted as a "Possible Match" to Punchbowl Cemetery Unknown X-3 in an official Investigative Report submitted by Chief Rick Stone while a member of the Department of... more
    • Press Release — Lynn Marona, Mon Aug 14 22:10
    • Re: CPL Henry Andregg, Jr.Al Guerrero, Sat May 27 09:31
      Outstanding work Chief!! Al
      • Re:CPL Henry Andregg, Jr.Godwintr, Sun May 28 18:40
        Could not agree more, Mr. Guerrero. This was outstanding work. We are all fortunate to have the Chief and the team of the Foundation.
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