First Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1947 for his “dauntless fighting spirit, unrelenting aggressiveness ad forceful leadership through three days of unremitting, violent battle” while leading a group of Marines against the Japanese forces on the Island of Tarawa in 1943.
Bonnyman was killed on the remote Pacific island along with 990 other Marines and 30 sailors during the fierce WW2 battle. His medal of honor was award posthumously. Until earlier this year, his remains had been lost on the island.
According to Fox News, A nonprofit group, History Flight, had searched the island for remains of the missing servicemen. They found the remains of 36 Marines. Bonnyman’s remains were among those found. He was identified through dental records and DNA matching.
After receiving word of the discovery, Bonnyman’s family planned to lay his remains to rest in Knoxville, Tennessee alongside his parent’s graves. Clay Bonnyman Evans, Bonnyman’s grandson said, “I feel I’m carrying on that mission that they started in 1944. Here we are in 2015. All those years later, it’s being done. He’s going to be buried exactly where they wanted him.”
Upon departing from Honolulu, Bonnyman was given full honors by a color guard and Taps was played.
Thank you for your service. You are not forgotten.