Heroes Home At Last

“His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21

The Random Incident Statistical Correlation System (RISC) is a comparison biometric profiling and correlation system Chief Stone used in his law enforcement career and in his investigative reports submitted to JPAC during his tenure with the Department of Defense.  Foundation researchers continue to use the system as an investigative research technique.  It is nothing more than a method using basic measurement comparisons and common sense deductive reasoning to narrow down a list of potential matches to be recommended for a full forensic analysis. The system is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a scientific identification tool to supplant DNA or other forms of forensic identification.

To date, there have been thirteen (13) identifications from “Unknowns” who were disinterred or were in storage at the JPAC/DPAA Laboratory for which Chief Stone or other Foundation researchers used the RISC System to provide a report to the Department of Defense or a family member with a list of matches.

In ALL THIRTEEN CASES, the RISC System accurately listed the missing American serviceman as a match PRIOR to the official identification. 

PFC Manley Forrest Winkley

PFC Manley Forrest Winkley, U.S. Marine Corps, Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was lost on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. After participating in field recovery efforts on Tarawa, researchers from the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation submitted a report to JPAC on 26 November 2012 listing PFC Winkley as a possible match to remains recovered during the mission. In addition, the Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Winkley’s family. This report was prepared and forwarded on 22 April 2013 listing PFC Winkley as a possible match to the recovered remains. PFC Winkley was finally identified as the recovered casualty and he was officially accounted for on 1 June 2013.

PFC Lawrence S. Gordon

PFC Lawrence S. Gordon, U.S. Army, Reconnaissance Company, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, was lost on 13 August 1944, near Ranes, France. Researchers from the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Gordon’s family.  This report was prepared and forwarded on 30 March 2013 using the RISC System to list PFC Gordon as a possible match to an “unknown” buried in a French cemetery.  PFC Gordon was finally identified as the “unknown” buried in the French cemetery by the French government using DNA after JPAC refused to examine the remains.  PFC Gordon was officially accounted for on 27 May 2014.

C-124 Crash Site Colony Glacier, Alaska

LT COL Lawrence S. Singleton, U.S. Army

PVT James Green Jr., U.S. Army

PVT Leonard A. Kittle, U.S Army

MAJ Earl J. Stearns, U.S. Marine Corps

CMDR Albert J. Seeboth, U.S. Navy

COL Noel E. Hoblit, U.S. Air Force

COL Eugene Smith, U.S. Air Force

CAPT Robert W. Turnbull, U.S. Air Force

1st LT Donald Sheda, U.S. Air Force

1st LT William L. Turner, U.S. Air Force

Technical Sergeant Engolf W. Hagen, U.S. Air Force

Staff Sergeant James H. Ray, U.S. Air Force

Airman 1st Class Marion E. Hooton, U.S. Air Force

Airman 2nd Class Carroll R. Dyer, U.S. Air Force

Airman 2nd Class Thomas S. Lyons, U.S. Air Force

Airman 2nd Class Thomas C. Thigpen, U.S. Air Force

Airman 3rd Class Howard E. Martin, U.S. Air Force

Airman 2nd Class Bernis F. White, U.S. Air Force

CAPT Walter P. Tribble, U.S. Air Force

Airman 3rd Class Loyd L. Matthews, U.S. Air Force

CAPT Kenneth Duvall, U.S. Air Force

2nd LT Robert Moon, U.S. Air Force

Airman 2nd Class Thomas Condon, U.S. Air Force

Airman 2nd Class Conrad Sprague, U.S. Air Force

C-124 Crash Site Colony Glacier, Alaska

On 13 June 2012, while a member of the Department of Defense, Chief Stone investigated an aircraft crash on the Colony Glacier in Alaska. Chief Stone correlated the crash site with the loss of a C-124 on 22 November 1952. Chief Stone submitted a report to JPAC which included a list of 52 “unresolved” casualties associated with this crash and recommended immediate recovery efforts of remains from the crash site.  The first seventeen (17) individuals on the list above were finally identified from the remains and officially accounted for on 18 June 2014.  CAPT Tribble and A2c White were finally identified and officially accounted for on 9 October 2015.  A3c Matthews was officially accounted for on 29 October 2015.  CAPT Duvall and 2nd LT Moon were officially accounted for on 19 February 2016 and A2c Condon and Sprague in March 2016.  All 24 were on the list originally submitted to JPAC by Chief Stone.

 

PVT Jack Marvin Redman

 PVT Jack Marvin Redman, U.S. Marine Corps, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was lost to a sniper’s bullet on 23 November 1943 on Tarawa. After discussing the case with a member of PVT Redman’s family, Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted a report on 11 December 2011 noting the family’s belief that PVT Redman might be one of the unknowns in the Punchbowl. Later, the Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from another member of PVT Redman’s family. This report was prepared and forwarded on 18 October 2012 noting that a photo existed in government records of PVT Redman’s lone grave in Cemetery 38 on Tarawa. PVT Redman was finally recovered from that exact location on Tarawa and officially identified in December 2014.

1st LT James Frank Gatlin, Jr,

1st LT James Frank Gatlin, Jr., U.S. Army Air Force, 575th Squadron, 391st Bomb Group, 9th Air Force,   was the pilot of the B-26 “Silver Dollar” lost on a bombing mission to attack a railroad bridge in Ahrweiler, Germany on 23 December 1944. This was the first case assigned to Chief Stone to investigate as a member of the Department of Defense. Chief Stone submitted a report on 6 July 2011 noting that JPAC investigation teams had investigated the location of an aircraft crash near Manderscheid, Germany three times and a recovery team was currently excavating the same site at the time the report was being written. Chief Stone concluded that the crash site was exclusively correlated to LT Gatlin’s aircraft and that LT Gatlin and his co-pilot remained missing. LT Gatlin was finally recovered from the crash site in Germany and officially identified on 9 January 2015.

PVT Arthur H. “Bud” Kelder

PVT Arthur H. “Bud” Kelder, U.S. Army, Medical Department, was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan and imprisoned in the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines where he died of illness on 19 November 1942. PVT Kelder was buried in a common grave in the camp with 13 other American prisoners. After the war, four individuals were identified from the grave and ten “unknowns” were buried in the Manila American Cemetery.  Chief Stone was asked to investigate these cases as a member of JPAC and prepared an Investigative Report on 8 March 2012 using the RISC System to list PVT Kelder as a most likely match to Unknown X-816.  Later, the Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from a member of PVT Kelder’s family.  This report was prepared and forwarded on 25 February 2013 and confirmed PVT Kelder as a most likely match to Unknown X-816. PVT Kelder’s family filed a federal lawsuit seeking disinterment of X-816, which JPAC vigorously opposed.  The family prevailed in the suit and Unknown X-816 was exhumed in June 2014.  PVT Kelder was identified as Unknown X-816 by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory on 22 December 2014.

LT. Stephen V. Biezis

2nd LT Stephen V. Biezis, U.S. Army Air Force, 575th Squadron, 391st Bomb Group, 9th Air Force, was the co-pilot of the B-26 “Silver Dollar” lost on a bombing mission to attack a railroad bridge in Ahrweiler, Germany on 23 December 1944. This was the first case assigned to Chief Stone to investigate as a member of the Department of Defense. Chief Stone submitted a report on 6 July 2011 noting that JPAC investigation teams had investigated the location of an aircraft crash near Manderscheid, Germany three times and a recovery team was currently excavating the same site at the time the report was being written. Chief Stone concluded that the crash site was exclusively correlated to LT Biezis’ aircraft and that LT Biezis and his pilot remained missing. LT Biezis was finally recovered in Germany and officially identified on 3 February 2015.

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1st LT. Alexander Bonnyman, Jr

1st LT Alexander Bonnyman, Jr, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, F Company, 2nd Battalion, 18th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was lost leading an assault on a Japanese bunker on 22 November 1943 on Tarawa. For his heroic actions, 1st LT Bonnyman was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.   The Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from 1st LT Bonnyman’s family which was forwarded on 11 October 2012.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, eliminated 1st LT Bonnyman as a possible match to any unknown buried in the Punchbowl and submitted a report to JPAC noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered on Tarawa.  1st LT Bonnyman was recovered from Cemetery 27, long hidden underneath a parking lot on Tarawa, and officially identified in August 2015.

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CPL George G. Simmons

CPL George G. Simmons, U.S. Army, Battery H, 60th Coastal Artillery Regiment, was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan and imprisoned in the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines where he died of illness on 19 November 1942. CPL Simmons was buried in a common grave in the camp with 13 other American prisoners. After the war, four individuals were identified from the grave and ten “unknowns” were buried in the Manila American Cemetery. Chief Stone was asked to investigate these cases as a member of JPAC and prepared a series of Investigative Reports in March 2012 using the RISC System which listed CPL Simmons as a most likely match to Unknowns recovered from Grave 717 at Cabanatuan. These unknowns had been interred at the Manila American Cemetery since 1946.   In 2013, the family of another Cabanatuan “unknown” identified by Chief Stone as being buried with CPL Simmons filed a federal lawsuit seeking disinterment, which JPAC vigorously opposed. The family prevailed in the suit and all of the Grave 717 “unknowns” recommended for disinterment by Chief Stone were exhumed in June 2014. CPL Simmons was identified as one of these “unknowns” by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory on April 14, 2016.

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PVT Palmer Sherman Haraldson

PVT Palmer Sherman Haraldson, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, C Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was lost participating in an assault on a Japanese bunker on 22 November 1943 on Tarawa.  The assault was led by 1st LT Alexander Bonnyman, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.   On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, eliminated PVT Haraldson as a possible match to any unknown buried in the Punchbowl and submitted a report to JPAC noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PVT Haraldson’s family which was forwarded on 12 September 2015 noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa. PVT Haraldson was recovered from Cemetery 27 and officially identified in April 2016.

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PFC Elmer Lewis Mathies

PFC Elmer Lewis Mathies, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, HQ Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by a sniper on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. On 31 August 2014, Foundation researchers contacted a witness to a Marine’s death on Tarawa who knew the Marine only by the nickname, “Rabbit”.  The witness was provided a photo of PFC Mathies who identified him as “Rabbit”.  This information, combined with other Foundation research, confirmed the likelihood that PFC Mathies was buried in Cemetery 27.  The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Mathies’ family which was forwarded on 5 March 2016 noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa. PFC Mathies was recovered from Cemetery 27 and the media announced his identification in May 2016.

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PVT Charles Edward Oetjen

PVT Charles Edward Oetjen, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports in 2011 and 2012 noting that PVT Oetjen was not a biometric match to any “unknown” buried in the Punchbowl.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PVT Oetjen’s family which was forwarded on 11 June 2015 noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa. PVT Oetjen was recovered from Cemetery 27 and the media announced his identification in May 2016.

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PFC James Francis Mansfield

PFC James Francis Mansfield, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot and shrapnel wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports in 2011 and 2012 noting that PFC Mansfield was not a biometric match to any “unknown” buried in the Punchbowl.  The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Mansfield’s family which was forwarded on 14 November  2012 noting his likely burial in an unmarked grave on Tarawa.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”.  The Foundation received a request for an updated report from PFC Mansfield Family which was forwarded on 18 October 2015 noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa. PFC Mansfield was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was officially announced on 6 May 2016.

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PVT Harry Kay Tye

PVT Harry Kay Tye, U.S. Marine Corps, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.   On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PVT Tye’s family which was forwarded on 28 June 2015 noting his likely burial in Cemetery 27.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa. PVT Tye was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his official identification was announced on 6 May 2016.

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PFC George Harry Traver

PFC George Harry Traver, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. The Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Traver’s family which was forwarded on 10 October 1912.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting PFC Traver’s likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa. PFC Traver was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his family was notified of his identification on 14 May 2016.

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PVT Evans Ernest Overbey

PVT Evans Ernest Overbey, U.S. Army Air Force, 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group, was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan and imprisoned in the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines where he died of illness on 19 November 1942. PVT Overbey was buried in a common grave in the camp with 13 other American prisoners. After the war, four individuals were identified from the grave and ten “unknowns” were buried in the Manila American Cemetery. Chief Stone was asked to investigate these cases as a member of JPAC and prepared a series of Investigative Reports in March 2012 using the RISC System which listed PVT Overbey as a probable match to Unknowns recovered from Grave 717 at Cabanatuan. These unknowns had been interred at the Manila American Cemetery since 1946.   In 2013, the family of another Cabanatuan “unknown” identified by Chief Stone as being buried with PVT Overbey filed a federal lawsuit seeking disinterment, which JPAC vigorously opposed. The family prevailed in the suit and all of the Grave 717 “unknowns” recommended for disinterment by Chief Stone were exhumed in June 2014. PVT Overbey was identified as one of these “unknowns” by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory on June 1, 2016.

Drawing of Cemetery in Cabanatuan POW Camp

CPL Frederick G. Collins, Jr, U.S. Army, 263rd Quartermaster Company, Quartermaster Corps, was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan and imprisoned in the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines where he died of illness on 19 November 1942. CPL Collins was buried in a common grave in the camp with 13 other American prisoners. After the war, four individuals were identified from the grave and ten “unknowns” were buried in the Manila American Cemetery. Chief Stone was asked to investigate these cases as a member of JPAC and prepared a series of Investigative Reports in March 2012 using the RISC System which listed CPL Collins as a most likely match to Unknowns recovered from Grave 717 at Cabanatuan. These unknowns had been interred at the Manila American Cemetery since 1946.   In 2013, the family of another Cabanatuan “unknown” identified by Chief Stone as being buried with CPL Collins filed a federal lawsuit seeking disinterment, which JPAC vigorously opposed. The family prevailed in the suit and all of the Grave 717 “unknowns” recommended for disinterment by Chief Stone were exhumed in June 2014. CPL Collins was identified as one of these “unknowns” by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory on June 7, 2016.

Sweepy Time Gal Crew 1

1st LT Robert Ernest Moessner

1st LT Robert Ernest Moessner, U.S. Army Air Force, 373rd Bombardment Squadron, 308th Bomb Group, 14th Air Force, was the bombardier of the B-24 “Sweepy Time Gal” lost on a mission to attack Japanese shipping near Hong Kong on 18 April 1944. The Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from the family of another crew member of the Sweepy Time Gal which was forwarded on 14 July 2014. The report using the RISC System and subsequent updates concluded that an “Unknown”, whose remains had been sitting in a cardboard box on a shelf at JPAC/DPAA since August 2005, was exclusively correlated to LT Moessner’s aircraft and that LT Moessner was a most likely match to the unidentified remains. LT Moessner was officially identified on 17 November 2016 by the Department of Defense as the “Unknown” cited the Foundation’s investigation.

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      PVT Dale Robert Geddes

PVT Dale Robert Geddes, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, H Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by a sniper while giving aid to a wounded buddy on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports in 2011 and 2012 noting that PVT Geddes was not a match to any “unknowns” buried in the Punchbowl.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting PVT Geddes’s likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PVT Geddes’ family which was forwarded on 9 June 2015 noting that PVT Geddes’ was likely buried in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  PVT Geddes was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his official identification was announced on 13 April 2016.

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 SGT Fae Verlin Moore

SGT Fae Verlin Moore, U.S. Marine Corps, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshots wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.   SGT Moore’s records indicated burial in three different cemeteries (Cemeteries 3, 27, and 33), including a photo of his isolated grave in Cemetery 3.  The Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from SGT Moore’s family which was forwarded on 17 April 2013 noting that SGT Moore was likely buried in Cemetery 33 on Tarawa based on documentation from the Army Graves Registration Unit. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  SGT Moore was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his official identification was announced on 9 August 2016.

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PVT Emmett Leonard Kines

PVT Emmett Leonard Kines, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting PVT Kines’ likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Researcher Report” from the West Virginia State Archives and History  which was forwarded on 14 September 2014 noting that PVT Kines was likely buried in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  PVT Kines was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was announced on social media on 10 August 2016.

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PFC Ronald William Vosmer

PFC Ronald William Vosmer, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshots wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting PFC Vosmer’s likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Vosmer’s family which was forwarded on 25 April 2013 noting that PFC Vosmer was likely buried in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  PFC Vosmer was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was announced on social media on 10 August 2016.

 Hubert Photo 2SGT James Joseph Hubert

SGT James Joseph Hubert U.S. Marine Corps, H Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by a gunshots wound on 21 November 1943 on Tarawa.   On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting SGT Hubert’s likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from SGT Hubert’s family which was forwarded on 11 August 2016 noting that SGT Hubert was likely buried in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  SGT Hubert was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was officially announced on 1 September 2016.

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PFC James Samuel Smith

PFC James Samuel Smith, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, C Company, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was listed as wounded in action on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports in 2011 and 2012 noting that PFC Smith was not a biometric match to any “unknowns” buried in the Punchbowl.  Chief Stone’s investigation revealed that PFC Smith was reported missing in action while being transferred for treatment to an off shore ship. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Smith’s family which was forwarded on 26 December 2012 noting the facts uncovered during Chief Stone’s investigation.  On 6 September 2016, the Department of Defense announced the identification of remains found on Tarawa as those of PFC Smith.

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PFC Nicholas Jose Cancilla

PFC Nicholas Jose Cancilla, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was lost on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports in 2011 and 2012 noting that PFC Cancilla was not a biometric match to any “unknowns” buried in the Punchbowl.  After participating in field recovery efforts on Tarawa, researchers from the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation submitted a report to JPAC on 26 November 2012 listing PFC Cancilla as a possible match to remains recovered during the mission. PFC Cancilla was finally identified as the recovered casualty and he was officially accounted for on 6 September 2016.

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FM1c Warren Gordon Nelson

FM1c Warren Gordon Nelson, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  Chief Stone, while a member of JPAC, submitted reports in 2011 and 2012 noting that FM1c Nelson was not a biometric match to any “unknowns” buried in the Punchbowl.  The Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from FM1c Nelson’s family which was forwarded on 10 November 2013 noting that FM1c Nelson was likely buried in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  FM1c Nelson was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was officially announced on 5 October 2016.

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CPL Walter George Critchley

CPL Walter George Critchley, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting CPL Critchley’s likely burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from CPL Critchley’s family which was forwarded on 7 April 2013. An update was sent to CPL Critchley’s family on July 2, 2015 citing CPL Critchley’s likely burial in Cemetery 27.  During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  CPL Critchley was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was announced on January 4, 2017.

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PFC Ben Hadden Gore

PFC Ben Hadden Gore, U.S. Marine Corps, Battery I, 2nd Defense Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 25 November 1943 on Tarawa and he was reported buried in Cemetery 33. In March 2016, Foundation researchers discovered a map noting the actual burial location of PFC Gore and PFC Larry Roberts, side by side, at a site which correlated with the recently discovered Cemetery 27 on Tarawa.  The Foundation immediately notified the Department of Defense of this information on March 20, 2016.   Although PFC Gore was not recorded in any records as being buried in Cemetery 27, the map discovered by Foundation researchers proved to be correct.  PFC Gore’s identification by DNA comparison was officially announced on September 1, 2016 as a recovery from Cemetery 27.

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PFC Larry Ronald Roberts

PFC Larry Ronald Roberts, U.S. Marine Corps, Battery H, 2nd Defense Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 25 November 1943 on Tarawa and he was reported buried in Cemetery 11. In March 2016, Foundation researchers discovered a map noting the actual burial location of PFC Roberts and PFC Ben Gore, side by side, at a site which correlated with the recently discovered Cemetery 27 on Tarawa.  The Foundation immediately notified the Department of Defense of this information on March 20, 2016.   Although PFC Roberts was not recorded in any records as being buried in Cemetery 27, the map discovered by Foundation researchers proved to be correct.  PFC Roberts’ identification by DNA comparison was officially announced on January 4, 2017 as a recovery from Cemetery 27.

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PVT Donald Samuel Spayd

PVT Donald Samuel Spayd, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa. On 26 November 2012, Foundation researchers, using information not available at JPAC, submitted a report to JPAC noting PVT Spayd’s possible burial in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa, also known as the “Lost Cemetery”. The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PVT Spayd’s family which was forwarded on 29 August 2016 noting that PVT Spayd was possibly buried in Cemetery 27 on Tarawa. During a construction project in 2015, Cemetery 27 was finally discovered underneath a parking lot on Tarawa.  PVT Spayd was recovered from Cemetery 27 and his identification was officially announced on 17 March 2017.

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PFC Jack Junior Fox

PFC Jack Junior Fox, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, L Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 22 November 1943 on Tarawa.  In November 2011, Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports to JPAC using the RISC System noting PFC Fox as a possible match to three “Unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) and recommended disinterment and identification.  The Foundation later updated these reports and listed PFC Fox as one of only two most likely matches to Unknown X-117.  After five years, the Department of Defense finally acted on Chief Stone’s original recommendations and began exhumation of the “Unknowns” from the Punchbowl in October 2016.  PFC Fox was recovered from the Punchbowl and his identification was officially announced on 4 April 2017.  Official confirmation from DPAA that PFC Fox was X-117 is pending.

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PFC John Kovach, Jr.

PFC John Kovach, Jr, U.S. Army, (Technician 4th Grade), C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan and imprisoned in the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines where he died of illness on 19 November 1942. PFC Kovach was buried in a common grave in the camp with 13 other American prisoners. After the war, four individuals were identified from the grave and ten “unknowns” were buried in the Manila American Cemetery. Chief Stone was asked to investigate these cases as a member of JPAC and prepared a series of Investigative Reports in March 2012 using the RISC System which listed PFC Kovach as a most likely match to Unknowns recovered from Grave 717 at Cabanatuan. These unknowns had been interred at the Manila American Cemetery since 1946. In 2013, the family of another Cabanatuan “unknown” identified by Chief Stone as being buried with PFC Kovach filed a federal lawsuit seeking disinterment, which JPAC vigorously opposed. The family prevailed in the lawsuit and all of the Grave 717 “unknowns” recommended for disinterment by Chief Stone were exhumed in June 2014. PFC Kovach was identified as one of these “unknowns” by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory on April 10, 2017.

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PVT Harold Sturtevant Hirschi

PVT Harold Sturtevant Hirschi, U.S. Army Air Corps, 19th Bomb Group, was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan and imprisoned in the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines where he died of pellagra on 19 November 1942. PVT Hirschi was buried in a common grave in the camp with 13 other American prisoners. After the war, four individuals were identified from the grave and ten “unknowns” were buried in the Manila American Cemetery. Chief Stone was asked to investigate these cases as a member of JPAC and prepared a series of Investigative Reports in March 2012 using the RISC System which listed PVT Hirschi as a most likely match to Unknowns recovered from Grave 717 at Cabanatuan. These unknowns had been interred at the Manila American Cemetery since 1946. In 2013, the family of another Cabanatuan “unknown” identified by Chief Stone as being buried with PVT Hirschi filed a federal lawsuit seeking disinterment, which JPAC vigorously opposed. The family prevailed in the lawsuit and all of the Grave 717 “unknowns” recommended for disinterment by Chief Stone were exhumed in June 2014. PVT Hirschi was identified as one of these “unknowns” by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory on April 14, 2017.

 

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CPL Henry Andregg, Jr.

CPL Henry Andregg, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, C Company, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  In November 2011, Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports to JPAC using the RISC System noting CPL Andregg as a probable match to two “Unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) and recommended disinterment and identification.  The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from CPL Andregg’s family which was forwarded on 25 April 2013. Continuing investigation by the Foundation uncovered additional information to update the report to include CPL Andregg as a most likely match to only one “Unknown”.  DPAA finally acted on Chief Stone’s original recommendations and began exhumation of the “Unknowns” from the Punchbowl in October 2016.  CPL Andregg was recovered from the Punchbowl and his identification was officially announced on May 19, 2017. 

 

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PFC Sam John Kourkos

PFC Sam John Kourkos, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, M Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, was killed on 21 November 1943 on Tarawa.  The Foundation received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC Kourkos’ family which was forwarded on 9 September 2014.  Continuing investigation by the Foundation uncovered additional information to update the report using the RISC System and listed PFC Kourkos as a most likely match to only one “Unknown” buried in the Punchbowl. DPAA finally acted on Chief Stone’s original recommendations and began exhumation of the “Unknowns” from the Punchbowl in October 2016.  PFC Kourkos was recovered from the Punchbowl and his identification was officially announced on May 19, 2017.

 

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PFC George Bernard Murray

PFC  George Bernard Murray, U.S. Marine Corps, B Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, was killed by gunshot wounds to the head and chest on 20 November 1943 and reported buried in Cemetery 33 on Tarawa.  In November 2011, Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports to JPAC using the RISC System noting that PFC Murray was not a match to any “Unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), including those recovered from Cemetery 33. Continued investigation by the Foundation uncovered additional information to confirm Chief Stone’s original reports that PFC Murray was not a most likely match to any “Unknowns” in the Punchbowl.  Remains previously recovered by locals on Tarawa were turned over to JPAC in June 2010 where they were stored on the JPAC Lab shelf. These remains were finally identified as PFC Murray on 9 June 2017.

 

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PVT Archie William Newell

PVT Archie William Newell, U.S. Marine Corps, C Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  In November 2011, Chief Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense, submitted reports to JPAC using the RISC System noting PVT Newell as a probable match to five “Unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) and recommended disinterment and identification.  The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PVT Newell’s family which was forwarded on 15 April 2013. Continued investigation by the Foundation uncovered additional information to update the report to include PVT Newell as a most likely match to only three “Unknowns”.  DPAA finally acted on Chief Stone’s original 2011 recommendations and began exhumation of the “Unknowns” from the Punchbowl in October 2016.  PVT Newell was recovered from the Punchbowl and his identification was officially announced on 12 June 2017.

 

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PFC Ray James

PFC Ray James, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, was killed by gunshot wounds on 20 November 1943 on Tarawa.  In 2011/2012, Chief Stone, using the RISC System, listed PFC James as a “Most Likely Match” to only eight unknowns buried in the Punchbowl.  The Foundation later received a request for a “Family Report” from PFC James’ family which was forwarded on 18 January 2016.  DPAA finally acted on Chief Stone’s original recommendations and began exhumation of the “Unknowns” from the Punchbowl in October 2016.  PFC James was recovered from the Punchbowl and his identification was officially announced on 20 June 2017. PFC James was identified as one of the “Unknowns” for which Chief Stone had listed him as a “Most Likely Match” in one of his original reports to JPAC on August 11, 2011.

It is through your support of our Foundation’s efforts that the families of these recovered heroes finally received information and closure regarding their loss. On behalf of these brave men and that of their families, please accept our most sincere thank you.

 

Copyright 2012 – 2017, All Rights Reserved, The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation.1

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