WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A Marine from Westchester who fought in the Pacific during World War II has been reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery after his remains were discovered after several decades.
In 2015, the body of Marine Cpl. Walter Critchley of New Rochelle - who was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division in November 1943 - was discovered at a burial site on Betio Island.
Earlier this year, the Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) used laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence to confirm Chritchley’s identity.
The Pentagon brought Chritchley's remains to Arlington on Tuesday, where he was buried with full military honors.
According to the DPAA, Critchley was among 1,000 Marines and sailors who were killed in the first day of a battle in the Tarawa atoll on the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 20, 1943.
In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island.
In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio Island, but Critchley’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 10, 1949, a military review board declared Critchley’s remains non-recoverable. The remains would later be recovered by a non-governmental organization and turned over to the DPAA.
According to the Chicago Tribune , Critchley was born in 1919 Westchester County to British immigrant parents who had met in New York. The family lived in New Rochelle until moving to Derby, outside Buffalo, in the late 1920s. In the mid-1930s his family moved to Long Island, where Critchley attended Valley Stream High School.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.