cross posting: IN MEMORIAM : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Cross posting: in memory of all our vets who guaranteed us the right to keep the Forum alive and continue to debate....A hell of a time to come home, Boys.

Source: Martin Thompson

"This a little off the usual story but thought it was interesting enough to post. MT"

US marines mass-grave found Source: AFP | Published: Thursday March 30, 9:03 AM AUCKLAND, March 30 - A mass grave of United States marines who went missing during World War II in the central Pacific has been found. The find has led military authorities to appeal for witnesses who may have seen other soldiers beheaded by the Japanese. A US Army official confirmed today the dead all came from the US Marine's 2nd Raider Battalion which attacked Japanese-occupied Butaritari Island (then known as Makin and now part of Kiribati) in August 1942. Of the group, whose deputy commander was the then president's son Major James Roosevelt, 30 went missing and their fate has never been determined. Colonel David Pagano of the US Army's central identification laboratory in Hawaii said they had located a mass grave last December containing 20 bodies. At least 19 of them were marines but the other may be a local person. Pagano said they had now flown the bodies to Honolulu where they will undergo a year-long identification process based on dental records. There is still no sign of the other missing soldiers but historical evidence points to nine marine prisoners being taken to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands where they were beheaded by the Japanese. Because none of the missing had been located until now it has never been known who was killed in battle and who was executed. Pagano said their search would now move to Kwajalein, which is a vast US Army ballistic missile testing base. "We have not located the ones who are believed to have died on Kwajalein," Pagano said. "We need to find good reliable witnesses who will lead us to where they are buried. "We just know of the story and we know of the trace of what presumably happened. We have yet to get a witness to tell us where they were buried or if they were buried." He said they would never give up looking for the remains. "We consider each and every one of them American heroes. They gave up their lives for the country and they deserve to be bought back to America for proper resting and burial." The original American attack on Butaritari led Japan to seize New Zealand coast watchers who were based on nearby atolls in the Gilbert Islands chain. On October 15, 1942, the New Zealanders taken then were part of a group of 22 who were beheaded on Tarawa, now the capital of Kiribati. It was never clear why the New Zealanders were executed but coincidentally the American executions occurred the next day on Kwajalein. Both Tarawa and Kwajalein were under the same joint Japanese commander and both groups were the only allied prisoners in the region at the time.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 29, 2000

-- another government hack (, March 30, 2000


"The find has led military authorities to appeal for witnesses who may have seen other soldiers beheaded by the Japanese."

What are they gonna do, charge them with murder?

-- G. C. Patton (War@is.hell), March 30, 2000.


No, but if there are surviving witnesses, and they come forward, it will serve as another public reminder of how so many sacrificed so much for the rest of us Americans. We need all the reminders we can get.

-- military brat (proud@of.myfamily), March 30, 2000.

Picked up on the wrong thing, War is Hell.

You know that little phrase "consciousness raising"?

Sometimes it's a good thing to remind people that nothing is free. When someone else pays the price, it's easy to take the privilege for granted.

There's something about your comment that makes me read it more than once. I don't believe in justice that we "understand", but I do believe that when someone gives up a part of him or herself for us, even if we never know them, they deserve recognition as best we can give it. And sometimes that desire to acknowledge finds itself in lame expressions.

You're right. War is absolute hell. It bears the characteristic of hell because the consequences have no boundary in time. It's visited upon all of us and the consequences flow to suceeding generations, ad infinitum. Survivors also experience benefits, for which we should be profoundly grateful.

So if your acidic-and all too accurate observation-comes from personal experience, shouts to you, Hero. If it was made from a desire to challenge- iconoclatic propensities-pray that you will never, ever, be the focus of a posting like this and be grateful that you don't understand what it was about.

-- another government hack (, March 30, 2000.

George, those men belonged to someone. Mother, lover, father, sibling. Think about it. How would it feel to go for half a century then have your loved one come back to you? Tortured, decapitated, knowing the circumstances of his death? To die without comfort or love or recognition is the Abyss. Even more terrible,now who mourns the ones who left no-one behind. I am so happy my son is home. I mourn the pain of his father, I grieve for my own father who will NEVER come home, dead or alive, and I hope we all are praying for the men and women who made it back but are going to pay a long,drawn out price for their service. Not to speak of the civilian populations. You are so very correct: War is hell. It wasn't enough for a Devil to create it, we had to add a very special division on our own.

-- charlie (, March 30, 2000.

My heart says "welcome home and thank you."

Just another Army brat,

-- Pam (, March 30, 2000.

At attention,

a smart salute,

then my cover is off,

my head down,

my eyes closed,

in silent gratitude and sorrow.

-- Spindoc' (, March 30, 2000.

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