Another Returns

| August 2, 2020

Per DPAA’s “Recently Accounted For” webpage, the following formerly-missing Marine was publicly announced as having been accounted for during the past week.

From World War II

Pfc Frank L. Athon, USMC Reserve, assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, was lost on Tarawa on 22 November 1943. His accounting was announced on 31 July 2020.

From Korea


From Southeast Asia


Welcome back, elder brother-in-arms. Our apologies that your return took so long.

You’re home now. Rest easy.

. . .

Over 72,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,500 US personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War; over 1,500 remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia (SEA); 126 remain unaccounted for from the Cold War; 5 remain unaccounted for from the Gulf Wars; and 1 individual remains unaccounted for from Operation Eldorado Canyon. Comparison of DNA from recovered remains against DNA from some (but not all) blood relatives can assist in making a positive ID for unidentified remains that have already been recovered, or which may be recovered in the future.

On their web site’s Contact Us page DPAA now has FAQs. One of those FAQs describes who can and cannot submit DNA samples useful in identifying recovered remains. The chart giving the answer can be viewed here. The text associated with the chart is short and is found in one of the FAQs.

If your family lost someone in one of these conflicts and you qualify to submit a DNA sample, please arrange to submit one. By doing that you just might help identify the remains of a US service member who’s been repatriated but not yet been identified – as well as a relative of yours, however distant. Or you may help to identify remains to be recovered in the future.

Everybody deserves a proper burial. That’s especially true for those who gave their all while serving this nation.

Category: No Longer Missing

Comments (5)

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  1. USAFRetired says:

    Welcome home and comfort to your family

  2. ninja says:

    There is a nice picture and a small Bio of PFC Frank Leroy Athon, Jr. at this link:

    “Born June 12, 1914, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Frank LeRoy Athon, Jr was blessed to the union of Frank Sr and Ida (nee Cheevers) Athon. He later wed Miss Marcella Ballard.”

    “On October 27, 1942, he walked into a hometown Marine Corps recruiting station and enlisted in the Reserves.”

    “Private First Class Athon was with his brothers in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion of the 8th Marines (A-1/8) when they landed on Betio as part of Operation: GALVANIC. The mission of the 2nd Marine Division was to secure the island in order to control the Japanese airstrip in the Tarawa Atoll; thereby preventing the Japanese Imperial forces from getting closer to the United States, and enabling US forces to get closer to mainland Japan. It would become one of the bloodiest battles in the Corps history.”

    “It was November 22, 1943 (D+2 for the “Battle of Tarawa”), when young Frank – just 29 years old – perished. He was reportedly soon buried in the East Division Cemetery on Betio Island – a temporary location chosen by his fellow Marines, the survivors of the battle, until the Fallen could be recovered and returned to their families.”

    “For his service and sacrifice, Frank’s widow accepted his awards and decorations, including:
    – Purple Heart
    – Combat Action Ribbon
    – World War II Victory Medal
    – American Campaign Medal
    – Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation
    – Asiatic-Pacific Theater Campaign Medal
    – Marine Corp Expeditionary Medal, and
    – Gold Star Lapel Button.”

    Rest In Peace, PFC Athon.


    Thank You, Hondo.

    Bring Them All Home.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Welcome Home PFC Frank LeRoy Athon, Jr. We Salute your Service and pay Honors to your Sacrifice. Rest In Peace at Home Devil Dog.

    Thanks Hondo and another Thanks to ninja for the added linky and info.

    Until They Are All Home!

  4. AW1Ed says:

    Welcome home.

  5. USMC Steve says:

    The more of these I read, the more I am convinced that this 604th QM graves registration outfit was a bunch of negligent, underperforming shitbirds. They basically repatriated less than half the Marines and Sailors buried on Betio, and it was nowhere nearly as developed at the end of the war as it is now. The folks finding all these people are for the most part History Flight, a bunch of patriotic civilians.