Marines Corps Platoon Sgt. killed during WWII identified

Elizabeth Howe
July 08, 2019 - 2:06 pm
Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter

Photo courtesy of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter, 38, of Kansas City, Missouri was killed on Nov. 20, 1943. 76 years later, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has identified his remains.

Trotter was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division in November 1943 when the unit landed on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. During the multi-day battle to secure the island, 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. Trotter died on the first day of the battle.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, U.S. service members killed in action were buried in battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company retrieved the remains between 1946 and 1947 and sent them to Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory to be identified. Any remains not identified by 1949 were interred as unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific or the Punchbowl.

Tarawa Unknown X-055 was disinterred on March 13, 2017 and identified as Trotter on April 16, 2019. To identify his remains, DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis.

Trotter will be buried Aug. 9 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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