WASHINGTON, July 31, 2018 —Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Robert L. Zehetner, killed during World War II, was accounted for on June 20, 2018.
In November 1943, Zehetner was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Zehetner died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.
DPAA is grateful to the Department for Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.
Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.
Zehetner’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.