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PFC Royal Lawrence Waltz

NamePFC Royal Lawrence Waltz
Unit:A Company 1st Battalion, 18th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division
Location of Recovery:Betio, Tarawa, Gilbert Islands (Modern Day Kiribati) Cemetery 33
Date of Loss:November 21, 1943

Circumstances:  On May 15, 2019, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Private First Class Royal Lawrence Waltz, missing from World War II.

Private First Class Waltz entered the U.S. Marine Corps from California and served in Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. He was killed in action on November 20, 1943, during the assault on the Japanese held Betio Island in the Tarawa Atoll. PFC Waltz’s body was buried in the Division Cemetery on Betio, but his remains were not identified during disinterment efforts following the war. In 2009, the non-profit organization History Flight Inc. located a burial site on Betio and recovered human remains there. This discovery prompted the reexamination of 94 sets of unknown remains that had been previously recovered from Betio and moved to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. One set of unknown remains designated X-228 was associated with another set of remains recovered by History Flight, and DPAA analysts used modern forensic tools and identified these remains as those of PFC Waltz.

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