WWII Marine’s Remains Returned to Columbia County After 73 Years
On November 20, 1943, Private First Class George Traver gave his life fighting for the United States in World War II.
Now, after nearly 73 years he's finally coming home.
The Times Herald reports that the remains of the 25-year-old Traver will arrive at Albany International Airport sometime late Friday morning. From there, he will finally be laid to rest in his hometown of Chatham.
According to Columbia-Greene Media, Traver was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, and was one of the first waves of Marines to arrive at the Japanese held atoll of Tarawa in 1943. According to WikiPedia, he was one of 1,696 Americans killed (1,009 of which were Marines) during the terrible three day conflict.
Sadly, Traver was one of over 100 Americans who's bodies were never recovered after the battle. After the war, his family pleaded to send search parties to recover the remains. Several groups returned to Tarawa over the next several years, but were unable to find anything.
In 1949, a military review board claimed his remains would never be recovered.
According to Columbia-Greene Media, his remains were finally discovered in February 2016 with the help of an organization known as History Flight Inc.
A military funeral is planned for PFC Traver this Sunday in Chatham.