The remains of two Iowa soldiers who’ve been listed as missing-in-action nearly six decades are finally coming home. The two Iowans were part of a World War Two commando unit known as the Marine Raiders. 19 U-S soldiers were among those captured and executed after an attack on a Japanese-held island in the South Pacific in August of 1942. A native of Makin Atoll said he helped bury the bodies long ago and recently led officials to the site. After a lengthy identification process, they’re all accounted for now. Greg Reed is assistant director of the Veterans Administration Regional Office in Des Moines. He says this brings long-awaited closure for the relatives of the dead Marines.Reed is a former Marine and is past-national commander of the Disabled American Veterans. He says the Marine Corps’ motto of “Semper Fidelis” is fitting in a case like this which has taken years of dedication and loyalty to conclude.The Latin “Semper Fidelis” means “Always Faithful” The Marines’ remains include: Corporal Harris Johnson of northwest Iowa’s Little Rock and Private Franklin Nodland of Marshalltown. The first of the 19 burials will be held next month.
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