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United States Marine Pfc. Randolph Allen Finally Comes Home 71 Years Later

American Marines of the 2nd Division are transported away from the battlefield at the Tanapag seaplane base after the Battle of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, 15th July 1944. (Photo by Paige Abbott/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Marine Pfc. Randolph Allen of Rush, Kentucky, will be buried July 29 in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C., 71 years after he as Killed In Action.

In November of 2013, a private group called, “History Flight,” excavated a site on the island of Betio that was believed to have been a fighting position on the island. During the excavation, the group recovered five sets of human remains, personal effects and military equipment. The irony is, four sets of the remains were determined to be Japanese soldiers and the fifth was thought to be that of a U.S. Marine.

Upon further investigation. two sets of military identification tags which identified Allen, were found in the fighting position, leading me to believe he was being held captive at the time of their demise.

Pfc. Randolph Allen was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division and was listed as Killed In Action on 20 November 1943. Their division landed on the small island to try and secure the island against dominant Japanese resistance. Over the three days of intense fighting, around 1,000 Marines were killed with another 2,000 wounded.

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