Marine Sergeant David Quinn was killed in battle on Nov. 20, 1943, and 75 years later he is coming home to New Hampshire.
Quinn died during the three-day Battle of Tarawa, which resulted in 1,000 Marine fatal casualties and more than 2,000 injured.
The Battle of Tarawa was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II that was fought on 20–23 November 1943. It took place at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and was part of Operation Galvanic, the U.S. invasion of the Gilberts. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting.
Irish American David Quinn was one of those. He was just 24 and had been married only four months previous.
Amazing ceremony today welcoming home Marine Sgt. David Quinn, a #NH hero killed in WWII. His remains recently identified through DNA. Hear from his family tonight at 10/11pm on @WMUR9 #WMUR pic.twitter.com/iLgiSvO0uP— Mike Cronin Jr. (@MikeCroninWMUR) May 4, 2018
The family believed for decades he had been lost at sea but found a letter to his widow from a Marine that made clear he had not. His body was identified through DNA testing.
“He was a great guy who died young. His body had been lying in Honolulu, in the Punchbowl, the National Cemetery of the Pacific, and had been there since 1949, unknown," said nephew Paul Quinn speaking to a local TV station.
He will receive a full military funeral and be buried among his relatives in Temple, New Hampshire.
“I think it's going to be one of the days of my life I'll always remember," Paul said. "I'm looking forward to the time I can go down to the cemetery and I know that his remains are there. It's going to be wonderful, like the family's back together again."