Aug. 8, 2016 —
Marine Pvt. Frank F. Penna, killed in World War II, has now been accounted for.
In November 1943, Penna was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed a 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, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. Penna died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.
In June 2015 a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines who fought during the battle.
Lab analysis, in conjunction with the totality of circumstantial evidence available, established Penna’s remains were included.
Interment services are scheduled for Oct. 8 in Canastota, New York.
Welcome home and rest in peace, Pvt. Penna.