WASHINGTON, D.C. — Military authorities say the remains of a Marine from Pennsylvania killed in the Pacific during World War II have been identified.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Wednesday that 20-year-old Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Michael Kocopy of Gardendale was accounted for in August.
Kocopy was among the Marines who landed against stiff Japanese resistance on tiny Betio island in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. Kocopy was killed on the first day of battle, but his remains couldn’t be identified in a cemetery on the island and were declared “non-recoverable” in 1949.
But in 2014, nonprofit organization History Flight Inc. identified another site where more remains were found. Scientists were able to identify Kocopy’s remains, which will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.