Remains of Marine killed in WWII returned to family after 70 yea - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Remains of Marine killed in WWII returned to family after 70 years

More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT
More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: Family More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: Family
More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT
More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT
More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family. Source: WLBT
JACKSON MEDGAR WILEY EVERS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) -

More than seven decades after dying in battle, a Marine finally returns home to be buried with his family.

The relatives of Second Lieutenant Harvel Lee Moore were awaiting his arrival at Jackson Medgar Evers International Airport Thursday as the military honored his service.

Relatives rejoiced over their serviceman who would have turned 100 years old in September.

"Leave no man behind, and that's what the Marines do," said Moore's niece Billie Sue Meredith of West Monroe, Louisiana.

The Marine Corps, The Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Mississippi and Department of Louisiana were there to take him 150 miles to his hometown.

Moore was 25 when he was killed during World War II in the Battle of Tarawa on the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific.

The Chatham, Louisiana native received the Silver Star posthumously for his heroism.

About a dozen family members were there to greet the first of Lillie Viola Moore's four children. 

Among them are nieces 80-year-old Meredith and 73-year-old Diane Williams, both of Bastrop, Louisiana; 71-year-old Sherry Sanders, of Sarepta Louisiana, Patricia Powell of West Monroe and Moore's only living male relative -- his 65-year-old nephew Garry Bolton of Marana, Arizona.

"I was five years old. I don't remember him," said Meredith. "But I remember my mother talking about him. He was the oldest and he was the favorite son and they loved and adored him."

It was an emotional day for his closest living relatives who recall the pain of their grandmother's loss and not knowing where her son was.

"We have the original telegram that was sent to the family. He died on November 22, 1943. The telegram was sent December 22,1943," said Sherry Sanders. "In 1947, his mother wrote to the colonel to asked that if his body could be returned."

Family, military and others prayed before Moore's flag draped coffin touched down on the tarmac.

In May of 2017, History Flight Incorporated excavated remains of men killed in the Battle of Tarawa. 

In February of 2018, DNA confirmed Moore's identity. 

"They wrapped him in his poncho and so he was all intact," added Meredith. "Evidently, it had preserved him. They had his DNA. He had all his teeth which was very unusual."

After plane side honors, military and law enforcement escorted the Marine on his journey to his final resting place, where family members say his mother awaits.

Patricia Powell said her mother adored her older brother and she imparted the love for him into them.

It is a reason Powell said her uncle's homecoming was so emotional for the family.

"I could just feel her spirit rejoicing that this moment is truly happening," said Powell. "Finally bringing his bones home so that he can be buried by his mother and his daddy."

Second Lt. Moore will be buried in his hometown of Chatham, Louisiana.

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