Another Seven Return

| November 4, 2018

DPAA has identified and accounted for the following formerly-missing US personnel.

From World War II

S1c Kirby R. Stapleton, US Navy, assigned to the crew of the USS Oklahoma, was lost at Pearl Harbor, HI, on 7 December 1941. He was accounted for on 1 November 2018.

Sgt Dwight W. Randall, USMC, assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, was lost on Tarawa on 20 November 1943. He was accounted for on 12 October 2018. (See note below.)

Pvt Fred E. Freet, USMC Reserve, assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division Fleet Marine Force, was lost on Tarawa on 20 November 1943. He was accounted for on 29 October 2018.

Pfc William E. Brandenburg, USMC Reserve, assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, was lost on Tarawa on 22 November 1943. He was accounted for on 23 October 2018.

S2c Ira N. Slaton, US Naval Reserve, assigned to the crew of the USS Colorado, was lost at Tinian Island on 24 July 1944. He was accounted for on 26 October 2018.

From Korea

CPL Frederick E. Coons, US Army, assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, was lost in South Korea on 29 July 1950. He was accounted for on 23 October 2018.

PVT Robert J. Sipes, Jr., US Army, assigned to L Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, was lost in North Korea on 30 November 1950. He was accounted for on 23 October 2018. (See note below.)

From Southeast Asia

None

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

Rest easy. You’re home now.

. . .

Over 72,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,600 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. The answer to 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 can be viewed in DPAA’s 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.

———-

Note: DPAA apparently “slip-streamed” the entry for USMC Sgt Randall into their “Recently Accounted For” page listing sometime during the past 3 weeks.

As of 2 November 2018, US Army PVT Sipes’ name did not appear on DPAA’s “Recently Accounted For” page listing. However, his accounting was announced here in a recent DPAA press release.

Category: No Longer Missing

Comments (14)

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  1. RGR 4-78 says:

    Welcome Home.

  2. Skyjumper says:

    S1c Kirby R. Stapleton

    https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2015/141/81350411_1432308858.jpg

    He was born on 28 Sept. 1917 in Chillois, France, immigrated to the USA and lived in Lathrop, MO before joining the Navy.

    Navy Seaman 1st Class Kirby R. Stapleton, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for on Aug. 27, 2018.

    On Dec. 7, 1941, Stapleton was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Stapleton.

    There is an American Legion Post in Lathrop, MO named after him.

    http://www.mo3rdherd.com/posts/post467.html

    Sgt Dwight W. Randall

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56119872/dwight-wade-randall

    In November 1943, Randall was a member of Company C, 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Randall died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

    Pvt Fred E. Freet

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8161175/fred-everett-freet

    In November 1943, Freet was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Freet died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943, during the first waves of the assault.

    Pfc William E. Brandenburg

    https://missingmarines.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/brandenburg_we.jpg

    In November 1943, Brandenburg was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Brandenburg died on the third day of the battle, Nov. 22, 1943.

    S2c Ira N. Slaton

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/24849927/ira-novis-slaton

    On July 24, 1944, Slaton was aboard the battleship USS Colorado, which was moored approximately 3,200 yards from the shore of Tinian Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Early in the morning, the USS Colorado, along with the light cruiser Cleveland and destroyers Remey and Norman Scott, commenced firing toward the island. Within two hours, a concealed Japanese shore battery opened fire on the USS Colorado and the USS Norman Scott. The first hit on the USS Colorado resulted in a heavy explosion, and the ship sustained extensive fragmentation damage. From the attack, four crewmen were declared missing in action, and 39 personnel were killed, including Slaton. Slaton and the other casualties were subsequently interred in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Saipan.

    CPL Frederick E. Coons

    Frederick was living in Buchanan, MO when he enlisted and was a member of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

    On July 29, 1950, Coons was declared missing action in the vicinity of Geochang, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea, when he couldn’t be accounted for after a unit withdrawal action to set up a roadblock against North Korean Forces.

    PVT Robert J. Sipes, Jr.

    He had just turned 19 about 1 1/2 months before he was killed.

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/162478805/robert-jefferson-sipes

    In November 1950, Sipes was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was killed in action on Nov. 30, 1950, during heavy fighting between the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) and the 7th Cavalry Regiment near the village of Unsan, North Korea. His remains were processed through a 7th Cavalry Regiment Collection Station on Dec. 1, 1950, and interred at the United Nations Military Cemetery (UNMC) Pyongyang, on Dec. 2, 1950.

    Welcome home, brothers.

  3. Skyjumper says:

    Question for TAH management.
    I posted a rather lengthy comment about the “Another Seven Return” around a half 3/4 of an hour or so, and it still hasn’t shown up. This has happened before when I post a response about this subject. Does it have to be approved first by TAH before it can post?

    Thanks.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Sj,
      Your comment has a lot of links and the spam filters kicked it over for approval, which I did. Not a big problem from where I sit, and we value your comments. But now you know.

      Before you ask, I have no idea what the magic number of links is, just be aware this will occur on comments with “a lot” of them.

      • Skyjumper says:

        Thanks AW1Ed, awesome as usual! (smile)

        Yeah, I figured it had a lot to do with all of the links, but wasn’t quite sure.

        Thanks for getting back to me.

        Have a great Sunday!

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Ira (Buck) Slanton was born in Alabama in 1922 to a large farming family. As Skyjumper posted above, he was assigned to the battleship Colorado that was shelling Tinian when it was repeatedly hit by Japanese shore batteries. She stayed where she was, despite the heavy damage and the approximately 250 killed and wounded she suffered. Three bodies could not be identified. One was Ira’s. Welcome home.

    • Skyjumper says:

      Thanks for the additional info that you always provide us with, 2/17 Air Cav.

      I for one, appreciate your efforts.

      Have a great Sunday!

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Welcome home Warriors; we’re sorry it took so long….from Skyjumper “I for one, appreciate your efforts.” Add, I for another one appreciate ALL of y’alls efforts, ie; Hondo for gathering and posting, AW1Ed for his management thereof along with the other admin Boys and Girls, 2/17 Air Cav and Skyjumper for “the rest of the story. Thank you! Lest we forget Hand Salute. jc nsnr

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I am so very sorry for mis-spelling Ira N. Slaton’s name in the above post. The info about him is correct.

  6. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Brothers. Rest in peace in your home soil now. God be with your families.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    re PVT Freet, eighteen years old.
    Take a moment and think about that.

    As always, thanks for the additional info.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      “18 years of age” No matter your religious/nonreligious beliefs, there but for the Grace of God go many of us. There was a time way back when that I wasn’t sure if I would see past 18 yo.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    May the road rise to meet them and the wind be always at their backs… and the doors of the Great Hall wide open for them at the end of the road.