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Marine killed in WWII battle in the Pacific identified

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Defense Department says the remains of a U.S. Marine killed in a World War II battle in the Pacific have been identified as an Arkansas man.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Tuesday that Marine Corps Sgt. Millard Odom from Batesville, Arkansas, was officially identified Aug. 20 through DNA, dental and anthropological analysis, and “circumstantial and material evidence.”

Odom was 26 when he was killed in battle on a small island in Betio and was buried there with approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors.

The Defense Department said after the war the remains were recovered and unidentified bodies were interred in Honolulu. Odom's remains were sent in 2017 to a laboratory for identification.

Officials estimate more than 72,000 U.S. service members who fought during World War II are unaccounted for.

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