BELEN, N.M. — A U.S. Marine from New Mexico who was killed during fighting on a Pacific island during World War II will be buried Friday in his hometown.
Pfc. Paul D. Gilman of Belen was 19 in 1943 when he died on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands while serving with the 2nd Marine Division
Officials believe remains of nearly half of the 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars could be identified and returned to relatives.
The Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency says Gilman's remains were buried in a military cemetery immediately after the fighting and then weren't recovered when remains in that cemetery were reburied in a centralized cemetery in 1946.
According to the agency, Gilman’s remains were identified through DNA analysis and other means after being found with other remains at a burial site on Betio by a nongovernmental organization, History Flight Inc.
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