The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren, 21, of Silverdale, Kansas, killed during World War II, was accounted for on June 10, 2019.
In November 1943, Warren was a member of Company K, 3rd 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Warren died between the first and second day of battle, Nov. 20-21, 1943. He was reported to have been buried in the Division Cemetery, which was eventually renamed to Cemetery #27.
In 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company centralized all of the American remains found on Tarawa at Lone Palm Cemetery for later repatriation. However, almost half of the known casualties were never found. No recovered remains could be associated with Warren, and, in October 1949, a Board of Review declared him “non-recoverable.”
In 2015, History Flight, Inc., a nonprofit organization, notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed to be missing American service members who had been buried in Cemetery #27. The remains were accessioned into the DPAA laboratory.
To identify Warren’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.
Warren’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific along with the others killed or lost in WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Warren will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The date has yet to be determined.