In Memoriam

“Left Behind”:  Foundation member CAStone’s copyrighted photograph of a missing Marine’s helmet at a burial site under excavation on TarawaCemetery 25 Cindy's Helmet Photo in Plot 2

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation has created this portion of our web site in humble thanks and appreciation for the families and friends of the following American servicemen and women who have generously donated to our Foundation. 

Only with your support have our Foundation’s efforts to locate, recover and identify lost American heroes and to provide information to their families been possible.

In Alphabetical Order

Charpilloz Photo 2

PFC Lyle Ellis Charpilloz

PFC Charpilloz was born in Silverton, Oregon and enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was only 15 years of age.  He was a member of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines during the invasion of Tarawa on 20 November 1943 when he was killed by gunshot wounds on Red Beach 3.  PFC Charpilloz’ body was reportedly buried in a Division Cemetery after the battle but was not officially identified until 4 December 2017.

 

Cronkhite Photo jpg

PFC Harry Cronkhite

PFC Cronkhite was born in State Line, Illinois and was wounded during the Guadalcanal campaign.  He was a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines and left behind a fiancée when he left New Zealand to participate in the invasion of Tarawa.  On 21 November 1943 when he was last seen on Red Beach 2 under heavy enemy fire.  PFC Cronkhite was reported as Missing in Action after the battle.  He remains in “Unresolved” status to this day.

 

Delellis Photo 2

PFC John Cecil DeLellis

PFC DeLellis was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin and was an Eagle Scout and a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  He was a member of C Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines during the invasion of Tarawa.  On 22 November 1943 PFC DeLellis was killed by gunshot wounds and buried in a Divisional Cemetery on Tarawa.  He remains in “Unresolved” status to this day although Foundation investigations show that he was undoubtedly buried as an “Unknown” in the Punchbowl.

 

Fedorchak Photo

Seaman 1st Class Joseph Fedorchak

S1c Fedorchak was born in Olyphant, Pennsylvania.  He joined the Navy in 1942 and volunteered for submarine duty.  S1c Fedorchak received a “Motor Machinist Mate” rating and was briefly assigned to the USS Guardfish before transferring to the USS Triton in Brisbane, Australia.  S1c Fedorchak was on his first war patrol aboard the USS Triton when it was sunk by a Japanese destroyer on 15 March 1943 while attacking an enemy convoy in the Bismark Sea.  S1c Fedorchak and all the crew members of the USS Triton remain on “eternal patrol” and will never be recovered.

 

Fox, Robert William Photo

PFC Robert William Fox

PFC Fox was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and was president of his high school class.  He earned a “Letter of Commendation” for his service during the Guadalcanal campaign.  PFC Fox was a member of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines during the invasion of Tarawa.  On 20 November 1943, PFC Fox was in a landing craft with his brother George when it was struck by enemy fire.  Robert was killed by shrapnel wounds but George survived and was awarded the Silver Star for later heroism on the beach.   Robert’s body has yet to be recovered and identified.

 

Godwin Photo

SGT Edward Russell Godwin

SGT Godwin was from Smithdale, Mississippi and a member of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines during the invasion of Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  He took over for a seriously wounded platoon leader and led his company in repelling repeated enemy attacks against their exposed position over the course of several days.  For his actions, SGT Godwin was awarded the Navy Cross.  SGT Godwin survived the war and passed away in California in 1980.

 

Hammett_Harold

SGT Harold Hammett

SGT Hammett was born in Avery, Mississippi and a member of B Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines when he was last seen embarking from his amphibious tractor on Tarawa’s Red Beach 2 on 20 November 1943 under heavy enemy fire.   SGT Hammett was not seen again and was reported Missing in Action on that day.  SGT Hammett’s body was not identified after the battle and he officially remains in “Unresolved” status.

 

Hubert Photo 2

SGT James Joseph Hubert

SGT Hubert was born in Duluth, Minnesota and a former member of the U.S. Navy before joining the Marine Corps in 1940.  He saw action during the Guadalcanal Campaign and was a member of H Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines when he was killed by a gunshot wound on Tarawa’s Red Beach 3 on 21 November 1943.   SGT Hubert’s body was identified and buried in a nearby cemetery that was lost after the battle and not found until 2015.  SGT Hubert was finally identified in 2016 and returned home to his family.

 

Kathan Photo

Pharmacist Mate 1st Class Fred Eugene Kathan

PhM1c Kathan was born in Denver, Colorado and was attached as a Medical Corpsman to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines when the amphibious tractor in which he was riding struck an anti-boat mine just off  Tarawa’s Green Beach on the evening of 21 November 1943.    PhM1c Kathan’s body was recovered after the battle and buried somewhere on Tarawa.  Unfortunately PhM1c Kathan has never been officially identified and he remains in “Unresolved” status.

 

Konz_Michael Paul

1st Sergeant Michael Paul Konz

1st SGT Konz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He enlisted in the Marines in 1938 and saw service in Haiti, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Panama, and American Samoa before being shipped to the South Pacific.  1st SGT Konz was a member of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines when he landed on Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  He was wounded during the assault and died the next day.  1st Konz’ body was buried in an unrecorded location on Tarawa and he has yet to be identified.  His case remains “Unresolved”.

 

Monick Photo

PFC Francis John Monick

PFC Monick was an Iroquois Indian born in Brasher Falls, New York.  His parents died when he was 13 and he was a ward in an orphanage.  PFC Monick was a member of B Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines when he landed on Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  He was struck in the left thigh by a gunshot wound and died later that day.  PFC Monick’s body was buried in a Divisional Cemetery and was undoubtedly an “Unknown” buried in Punchbowl; however, he has yet to be identified and remains “Unresolved”.

 

Reeder Photo jpg

PFC Otto Reeder

PFC Reeder was born in Evansville, Indiana and a member of B Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines when he landed on Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  Two days later, PFC Reeder was killed by a gunshot wound to the head and was buried in what would later become one of Tarawa’s “Lost Cemeteries”.  His remains have never been found and identified and PFC Reeder remains officially in “Unresolved” status.

 

Ribeiro Photo 2

CPL Arthur Edward Ribeiro, Jr.

CPL Ribeiro was born in Buffalo, New York and a member of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines when he landed on Tarawa’s Red Beach 2.  CPL Ribeiro was known as “Art” to his family and friends and had a twin brother.  On 21 November 1943,  CPL Ribeiro received multiple gunshot wounds and died on that day.  CPL Ribeiro was identified after the battle buried at an unknown location on Tarawa.  He officially remains in “Unresolved” status to this day.

 

Sauers Photo

PFC Myrl Melvin Sauers, Jr.

PFC Sauers was born in Santa Cruz, California.  “Mel” wrote to his grandmother that he grew two inches taller and added 25 pounds to his frame after he joined the Marines.  He was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines when he attempted to land on Tarawa’s Red Beach 3 on 20 November 1943.  PFC Sauers’ actions during the battle are unknown and he simply disappeared into history.   PFC Sauers was listed as “Missing in Action” and he officially remains in “Unresolved” status to this day.

 

Simonetti_Joseph Mike

CPL Joseph Mike Simonetti

CPL Simonetti was born in Illinois and was a member of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines when he landed on Tarawa’s Red Beach 2 on 20 November 1943.  CPL Simonetti was killed shortly after reaching the beach.  After the battle he was identified and buried in a nearby cemetery on Tarawa.  However, when his body was recovered in 1946, CPL Simonetti’s identity could not be confirmed and he was designated “X-36”.  CPL Simonetti’s remains were identified by the Army Central Identification Laboratory in 1947 and he was buried in the Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii at the request of his family.  CPL Simonetti is interred in Section 1, Grave 595 at the Punchbowl.

 

Skinner Photo retouched

SGT Morris Wallace Skinner

SGT Skinner was born in Galveston, Texas and was known as “Red” to his family and friends due to his wavy, red hair and a face full of freckles.  As a member of H Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, SGT Skinner was a machine gunner when he landed on Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  He was reported Killed in Action by gunshots on that day.  SGT Skinner’s body was found after the battle and buried in a Divisional Cemetery.  Unfortunately, he has not been officially identified and remains in “Unresolved” status.

 

Tribble, Walter Perrin Photo

Captain Walter Perrin Tribble

CAPT Tribble was born in South Carolina and was a member of the ROTC program at what later became Clemson University.   He was a crew member on a B-29 bomber that was shot down over Tokyo on 23 May 1945 and was held as a Japanese POW until the end of the war.  On 22 November 1952, Captain Tribble was a passenger on a C-124A transport plane that crashed on Mount Gannett in Alaska.  He remained missing until Chief Stone investigated his case in 2012 based on wreckage sighted on the glacier.  Captain Tribble was finally identified and returned home to his family in 2017.

 

Walton Photo 3

PFC Orson La Moyne Walton

PFC Walton was born in Auburn, Washington and a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines when he landed on Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  His company was assigned to land on Red Beach 3 and PFC Walton was wounded by gunshots and later died on that day.  PFC Walton’s body was identified after the battle and he was buried in a Divisional Cemetery however he has yet to be identified as a recovered set  of remains.  PFC Walton is officially in “Unresolved” status.

 

Westfall_John C Jr

PFC John Cyrus Westfall, Jr.

PFC Westfall was born in Miami County, Ohio and a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines when he landed on Tarawa on 21 November 1943.  His company was assigned to land on Red Beach 2 and PFC Westfall was reported Killed in Action on that day.  PFC Westfall’s body was not identified after the battle and he officially remains in “Unresolved” status.