© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lost WWII Marine George H. Traver Returned Home

Lucas Willard

Escorted by motorcycle riders with the Patriot Guard, the remains of a WWII marine killed in the Pacific more than 70 years ago finally arrived home Friday.

PFC George H. Traver was killed in action on November 20th, 1943 in the Gilbert Islands. His body was not identified until February of this year after a long-lost grave was discovered underneath a steel structure.

Traver was identified through dental records and a boy scout pocket knife he was buried with. The organization History Flight helped locate Traver.

Traver’s nephew, also named George Traver, spoke after Traver’s casket was brought to a Chatham funeral home.  

“You see things like this on TV, especially with the different ceremonies for the GIs that got lost and stuff like this other the years, but to be a part of it…it’s something that you’ll never forget,” said Traver.

Calling hours will be held Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. at French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home in Chatham. A religious service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Chatahm followed by a burial with full military honors at Chatham Rural Cemetary. A reception will follow at the Chatham firehouse.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.