After 7 decades, Marine's remains head back to Kansas for burial

KMBZ News Staff
May 25, 2018 - 4:20 am
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More than 74 years after his death a World War II Marine flies back to his hometown Friday.

In 1943 Jack Krieger landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Tarawa, with a mission of securing the island. He was killed on the first day of the battle.

"About a thousand men were killed right away, and they did eventually win the battle," said Judy Redding, Krieger's cousin.

Krieger's remains were exhumed from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, where he was buried as an unknown. 

Identifying Krieger's remains was an ordeal. Military officials tracked down a distant relative to find the correct line of DNA, which led to an accurate match. The skeletal remains were almost completely intact.

"He will be put in full uniform and they have replicas of all of his medals, that will all be in the casket with him, though I do have his authentic Purple Heart," Redding said.

Krieger will be buried on Memorial Day with full military honors provided by The United States Marines and the Jack Krieger VFW in his hometown of Larned, Kansas.

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