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Remains of Marine missing since World War II identified

This undated photo provided by the Department of Defense shows 1st Lt. Justin G. Mills, a missing Marine from Texas.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: February 7, 2020

Remains found on a tiny South Pacific island where a bloody World War II battle happened have been identified as those of a missing Marine from Texas, a federal agency said Wednesday.

In a statement, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that the remains of 1st Lt. Justin G. Mills of Galveston, Texas, had been identified. The remains were found in 2015 on the tiny island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. The remains were turned over to the DPAA laboratory for genetic identification.

Mills had been missing since the November 1943 Battle for Tarawa, which left about 1,000 U.S. Marines and sailors dead and more than 2,000 more wounded from fighting that stretched over four days. The DPAA says Mills died in the battle’s first day.

Mills is to be buried April 29 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

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