Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. John R. Bayens, killed during World War II, was accounted for Sept. 23, 2019.
(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)
In November 1943, Bayens was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Bayens was killed on the third day of the battle, Nov. 22, 1943. His remains were reportedly buried in Cemetery 33 on Betio Island.