This WWII veteran died 74 years ago on a Pacific island. Now he’s coming home


On the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, 1,800 miles from Hawaii, Unknown X-275 was buried 74 years ago.

On Nov. 20, 1943, the U.S. Marine was killed in a World War II battle with the Japanese on the Gilberts, now called Kiribati. He was 24 years old. It was unknown where exactly he died — just that he had been killed. His remains were not identifiable and were buried in a mass grave along with others who perished.

But now, Unknown X-275 is unknown no longer.

The remains, which had been repatriated and buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii after the war, have been identified as Corporal Raymond Snapp. They were exhumed by the military last year in hopes modern technology could help bring families the peace that has eluded them for decades.

This week, the only remaining relative Snapp knew while he was alive gets to see him buried with a full military funeral on U.S. soil.

“For all these years, they’ve known the Marine was killed. They knew what day and what battle, but that’s it,” U.S. Marine Major Tim Kronjaeger told WFAA, of Snapp’s family. “They haven’t known where his remains are or how he was killed. They only know he was killed in action against the enemy.”

Other members of the family, even though were born after he died, helped welcome Snapp home as he touched down in the U.S. Brent and Stacy Snapp, who both live in Texas, went to the Dallas-Forth Worth…


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