Cemetery 33, Row D found by History Flight
Thu Jun 27, 2019 08:18

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported the discovery of a mass grave of more than 30 servicemen on Betio. The find was made in March by a History Flight field team:

This is the fourth row ("Row D") of the East Division Cemetery (aka Cemetery 33). If burial records are accurate (and we all know they aren't always accurate) then there are at least 32 Marines and sailors to be found here:

Grave 1: PFC Howard Ralph Dekker (A/1/6)
Grave 2: Sgt. George Raymond Reeser (A/1/6)
Grave 3: PFC John Richard Bayens (B/1/6)
Grave 4: PFC Jack Benson Van Zandt (B/1/6)
Grave 5: Cpl. Quentin Weldon McCall (I/3/6)
Grave 6: PFC John Eddy Gillen (D/1/6)
Grave 7: Sgt. Jerome Bernard Morris (B/1/6)
Grave 8: Pvt. Channing Robert Whitaker (A/1/6)
Grave 9: PFC Joseph Robert Livermore (B/1/6)
Grave 10: PFC Robert James Hatch (D/1/6)
Grave 11: PFC Charles Donald Miller (A/1/6)
Grave 12: PFC Kenneth William Likens (B/1/6)
Grave 13: PFC Elden Richard Baumbach (D/1/6)
Grave 14: Pvt. Jack Rudolph Stambaugh (B/1/6)
Grave 15: PFC J. L. Hancock (B/1/6)
Grave 16: PFC Charles Eugene Wallace (A/1/6)
Grave 17: PFC Thomas Frank Johnson (B/1/6)
Grave 18: Sgt. Donald Deloy Stoddard (B/1/6
Grave 19: PFC John Wilson Hoffman (L/3/6)
Grave 20: 1Lt. Hugh Dorian Fricks (D/1/6)
Grave 21: GySgt. Arthur Branson Summers (I/3/6)
Grave 22: PFC Harold William Hayden (A/1/6)
Grave 23: PFC Robert Donald Jenks (D/1/6)
Grave 24: Cpl. Raymond John Tuhey (B/1/6)
Grave 25: PFC Mervin Delbert Galland (A/1/6)
Grave 26: PFC Glenn Franklin White (A/1/6)
Grave 27: PFC Frank Leroy Athon, Jr. (A/1/6)
Grave 28: PFC John Michael Fahy (D/1/6)
Grave 29: Pvt. Jacob Cruz (D/1/6)
Grave 30: PFC Jack Earl Hill (D/1/6)

There are thought to be two unknown individuals in Graves 31 and 32.

PFC Manuel Nunes Jr. (M/3/8) was reportedly recovered from Row D, Grave 33, by the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company in 1947.

More info and pictures:

Let's hope all are quickly identified and brought home soon!

    • Re: Cemetery 33Tom Godwin, Thu Jun 27 14:10
      Great story and history put together. Always amazed to see photos that I have not somehow come across before. Thanks!
      • Cemetery 33Jessica Whiteley, Fri Jun 28 06:52
        My great uncle is John Richard Bayens-praying he'll come home to Kentucky 💙
    • Re: Cemetery 33, Row D found by History FlightGeorge E Proulx, Thu Jun 27 13:57
      Most almost surely killed during the night final charge of the Japanese garrison. Thanks for posting.
      • Re: Cemetery 33, Row D found by History FlightJon Stevens, Fri Jun 28 08:32 STAMBAUGH, Jack R., 330350 Awarded the Navy Cross for action at Tarawa Bowie, Texas; rifleman, Co. B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines For extraordinary heroism, ... more
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