Remains of WWII Marine from NYC being returned for burial

THE WASHINGTON POST/AP – CHRIS CAROLA

Photo: Sprawled bodies on beach of Tarawa, testifying to ferocity of the struggle for this stretch of sand. November 1943. (Navy)

Nancy Lewis never knew the uncle everyone called Joey, but the stories her grandmother would tell of the son who didn’t return from World War II made it seem like he was still around.

“She made him so real for us,” Lewis, 73, said as she and other family members awaited the arrival at Kennedy Airport on Friday of a flight carrying the casket with the remains of Marine Corps Pvt. Joseph Carbone. The Pentagon announced in July that his remains had been identified among those of other unknown servicemen killed in a bloody Pacific battle and reburied in Hawaii after the war.

The 20-year-old Brooklyn native was serving with the 2nd Marine Division when he was killed during the assault on Tarawa atoll in the Gilbert Islands, about 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii, on Nov. 20, 1943. He died early on the first day of the three-day battle to take the tiny coral island from the Japanese.

One of six children born into a tightknit Italian-American family living near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Carbone was 19 when he enlisted in the Marines, a year after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Full story at The Washington Post

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