26 May 2014

Opportunities to identify war dead abound as DOD overhauls troubled recovery efforts | RallyPoint.com

Military News - Opportunities to identify war dead abound as DOD overhauls troubled recovery efforts

Image Copyright: Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes

By Travis J. Tritten
Copyright: Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — On Tarawa, bodies of fallen Marines, still wrapped in ponchos or wearing helmets, were just below the island’s trash-ridden top soil.

About 10,000 bones, hundreds of pounds of gear and dozens of dog tags were recovered over the past two years on the densely developed Pacific island, generations after a bloody World War II battle there, said Mark Noah, whose private group, History Flight, initiated the search effort.

The remains were so numerous and buried in such shallow ground that in one servicemember’s grave site “a local trash pit had been dug right into his chest,” Noah said.

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