ARLINGTON, Va. -- Poughkeepsie native James B. Johnson, a U.S. Marine killed in the Pacific during World War II, was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday.
Johnson was only 19 years old when he died in November, 1943, during a fierce battle to regain an island in Tarawa Atoll from the Japanese.
According to Time Warner Cable News, Johnson received full military honors during his burial Tuesday, May 31, at Arlington.
The battle of Tarawa was thought to be a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands as part of the Central Pacific Campaign.
U.S. service members killed there were buried in several spots around the island.
For years, it was thought that Johnson’s remains would never be found.
However, in 2015 the nongovernmental agency History Flight Inc. uncovered a site where Johnson and 34 others soldiers were buried.
Johnson’s remains were identified after DNA, and other tests, were conducted, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
According to a report by The Poughkeepsie Journal, Johnson had attended W.W. Smith School and Poughkeepsie High School and went to Holy Trinity Church.
He was a shipping clerk before signing up with the Marines in 1942 and had been engaged to his high school sweetheart, Dolores Whalen, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
For more information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit www.dpaa.mil or call (703)-699-1420.
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