April 4, 2017 —
Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jack J. Fox, unaccounted for from World War II, has now been identified.
In November 1943, Fox was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, 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. Fox died sometime on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943.
In November 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company began disinterment to bring the remains to Oahu for identification at the Central Identification Laboratory. In 1949 and 1950, the remains that could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific ("Punchbowl") in Honolulu.
In October 2016, set of remains were exhumed from the Punchbowl and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the
identification of his remains.
Interment services are pending.