Remains of Ohio marine killed in World War II identified

NORWOOD, Ohio (AP) — The remains of a marine killed in fierce island fighting during World War II have been identified as an Ohio man.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said this week that Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Harold W. Hayden, 19, of Norwood, Ohio, was accounted for on March 30, 2020.

Hayden died on the small Pacific Ocean island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943, the third day of a battle with the Japanese to secure the island. About 1,000 marines and sailors died and more than 2,000 were wounded in the days-long battle, the agency said.

Although Hayden was declared “non-recoverable” in 1949, the discovery of a burial site on the island in 2009 led to excavations that in 2019 revealed the site where Hayden was buried, according to the agency. Agency scientists used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, to identify the remains.

Hayden will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. No date has been set.