Governor and First Lady Honor Marine Pfc. George B. Murray


8-11-2017

SACRAMENTO – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Marine Pfc. George B. Murray, a U.S. serviceman missing from World War II.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Pfc. Murray’s remains have been identified. He will be buried on August 18 with full military honors.

Pfc. George B. Murray, 20, of Oceano, CA, bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation and the Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends. In memorial, Governor Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol. Pfc. Murray’s family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.

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The following information was provided by DPAA:

In November 1943, Pfc. Murray was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Pfc. Murray was killed on the first day of the battle, November 20, 1943.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in battlefield cemeteries on the island. All of the remains found on Tarawa were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory for identification in 1947. By 1949, the remains that had not been identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In August and September 2010, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command recovery team conducted an archaeological mission on Betio Island and received a unilateral turnover of possible human remains from the Kiribati Police. The remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used DNA analysis and material and circumstantial evidence in the identification of the remains.

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