The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Marine Corps Cpl. Thomas H. Cooper, 22, of Omaha, killed during World War II, was accounted for Aug. 9, 2019.
(The official DoD release will be updated following the primary next of kin briefing.)
In November 1943, Cooper was a member of Company A, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 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. Cooper died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.