After 74 years a Marine is finally returning home. Albert Strange died during World War II in 1943 and his remains were finally identified in October 2017. WNKY News' Cecilia Herrell traveled to Cave City where the hero will finally be laid to rest.
On November 20, 1943 Albert Strange landed on a small island called, Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. It was the first day of battle and unfortunately the last day of Strange's life.
Service members who died in battle were buried in battlefield cemeteries on the island.
In May 2016, The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, also known as DPAA, returned to Betio to conduct excavations of remains. The remains were then sent to DPAA scientists.
On December 13th, Strange will be buried with full military honors at Cave City Cemetery in Cave City.
The battle took the lives of over one thousand Marines and Sailors, but turned out to be a huge victory for the United States. It helped advance the Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.
More than 400 thousand Americans died in World War II and there are nearly 73 thousand still unaccounted for.