George Traver comes home

| August 14, 2016

George Traver

HMC Ret sends us the link to the story of Marine Private First Class George Traver whose earthly remains will be laid next to his parents on August 28th in Chatham, New York after being buried in a mass grave with 35 other Marines on the island chain of Tarawa where he fell on November 20, 1943. His mother sent him a boy scout knife in 1942 while he was serving and that’s how his remains were identified initially;

Among the things in a report issued to the family was a Boy Scout knife found with the Marine’s body. His mother sent him a care package after he joined the service. In a letter to his mom, he said he would find good use for it and was glad to have it.

“When we got the report back from the recovery team one of the artifacts that they found on him was a knife,” nephew George Traver tells us. “And the description of it was a 3″ or a 4″ knife blade, bone case covering and a boy scout emblem on it. So it was almost like he carried something that meant something to him so much and mentioned about being home.”

As we’ve read so often this year, History Flight is responsible for the recovery of PFC Traver and many others on Tarawa where 1000 Americans were killed and another 2000 were wounded.

“There’s nothing sweeter than home,” said George Traver. “I don’t care where you are or what you do, home is important.”

Hondo told us that he’d been identified last month.

Category: We Remember

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Welcome home PFC Traver. Rest in peace in your home soil. God be with your family now.


Are all these Marines coming from that mass grave on Betio? I am glad that they are finally bringing them home.


Glad to know he’ll be where he belongs once more.


Welcome Home..

May you rest in peace


2/17 Air Cav

If you have never visited History Flight, do yourself a big favor and take a look see. JPAC has long co-opted their work and taken it as their own. It rubs me the wrong way but History Flight’s got the better view of their being omitted so often from recovery reports and press releases (see quote below.) So, thanks Jonn for mentioning this great organization–again.

“History Flight is pleased to announce the identification of Captain Richard Vincent, whose remains we recovered on the Pacific island of Tarawa in June of 2013. Way to go, to everyone who worked together to make that operation a success! Here’s a media report on the repatriation of Captain Vincent’s remains in early July 2015. Interestingly, the article (and evidently DOD’s press-release information) make no mention of the fact that History Flight was instrumental in the location, recovery, and identification of Captain Vincent’s remains, or of the 31-page report that we prepared and submitted detailing his recovery and identification. But here’s the thing: he’s home.”

God bless these men, their families, and History Flight.


Something as simple as a pocket knife.

Just An Old Dog

Yes it’s the little things. I used to do housing inspections, part of which, the dirty part was crawling in subspaces. I find all kinds of things under there, mostly rotten pieces of woood and trash thats been in there for decades.
One particular time I saw something shiny sticking out of the dirt by a vent, and uncovered an old toy cap pistol. I took it out and gave it to the owner and he literally broke down in tears.
He said he had belonged to his older brother who had died in Vietnam. When he was about 6 or 7 he had gotten mad at his brother and taken his most prized toy, that cap gun and shoved it through the vent opening in the foundation. He said his brother went nuts looking for it for a while but he had forgotten all about it after a few days. That is until he saw it almost 60 years later.
A little thing can mean a lot.


JOD–that brought tears. I can just imagine what that meant to that man.

Just An Old Dog

History flight can’t be thanked enough for what they have done.
The most disgraceful part about the missing in Tarawa is they weren’t really missing in the beginning.
They were accounted for and buried in small lots around the Island, its just they did a shit job of recording the locations and both military and civilian Construction, along with nature wiped out traces of the graves.
The Island is a huge trash heap now, and the natives, who are dirt poor, could give a shit less about who is buried there.

Holden Magroin

“David Silliman, of Chatham, N.Y., remembers his grandmother riding in Memorial Day parades in memory of her lost son, George Traver, who vanished at Tarawa. Today Traver’s name is engraved on his mother and father’s tombstone in eternal anticipation of the day he finally returns. ”

He is returned. Hopefully, all can now RIP. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.



Welcome home, Brother. You were gone but never forgotten. There has always been a spot for you to return to in the hearts of your family and friends.

HMCS(FMF) ret.

Welcome Home, Marine.


HT3 '83-'87

After reading about these phony heroes being shamed on this sight, I kind a chocked when I read about a REAL hero and the many that perished like him.

Attention on deck, hand salute


Welcome home, Marine. Now, rest in peace.


Welcome home, Marine.

Green Thumb

Welcome home, Marine.

Rest well.