return to Tarawa: the Leon Cooper story
got this in a mail from a vet know. a trip back to a bloody battlefield in the gilbert islands
Leon Cooper at Red Beach - "its a god damned mess !!!!"
archived fro 08
cooper returned to this tiny atoll in feb 08 to chase some demons and was shocked at what he found. after getting the white wash from the Gov for help the new Zealand gov has offered their help in cleaning it up. natives have been using as a dump for years. its strewn with bullets, shell casing and grenades. and buried bodies. the graves of 139 missing Marines and sailors whose remains had long been presumed lost have been found.
according to this:
Remains from WWII battle on Tarawa found, Florida group says
The Marines quickly buried their dead after the 1943 battle for Tarawa, one of the bloodiest fights against the Japanese in World War II.
Then the bulldozers came to build runways. Markers were lost. In 1946, the military went back to find those graves on the Pacific atoll.
They couldn't locate half of them.
this was a TV doc which i missed but not sure i get this cable channel anyway. here's the doc in it entirety. a word. it is long. around 47 mins
Tarawa is an atoll. the battle was fought on Beito
also an update. I posted this on another board. and was told by a member there In a magazine he claims he read that said the remains of two marines were found in the 70's, still in their amtrack. Only one is identified and both are buried in a military grave.
this is unconfirmed
NOT one of our best historical moments. I hope no sacred battleground anywhere winds up like