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Kurt Barickman

Tarawa Tale of Two Sanders

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Some of you might remember this grouping from 9 years ago on the Forum which is also partially photographed in Dave´s  new Purple Heart book.

 

 


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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This is one of my nicest KIA Tarawa groups and the Purple Heart is in fantastic condition. Having done research on this several times, I am very certain that there were two Sanders killed in action on Tarawa; both of these men served in the 8th Regiment which along with the 2nd Regiment suffered very high casualties in this operation. 

The other Sanders served with B Company, 1st Battalion. Robert was a southerner and James was a Michigan lad.

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My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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IMG_2804.JPG


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif



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When I acquired this Purple Heart from Tarbridge he cautioned me that, ¨ït looks like a truck ran over it.¨ As you can see, Robert was not exaggerating; so as you can see this Sanders´ Purple Heart is hands down my ¨worst conditioned¨ in my collection.


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

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Sanders´ photo and he hailed from Detroit.

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My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif



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More from the file.

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My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif



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You can just feel the pain in these letters from the family to the Marine Corps referring to their son´s corpse and items,

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My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif



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Thanks for Robert for helping me out with this. This family got their wish for the repatriation of their son´s body which was not often the case with casualties from Tarawa. Another reminder of the cost of war  on those left behind to try and pick up the pieces of their lives.

 

Kurt


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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Although the document lists his internment at this cemetery in Detroit, he is listed on the MIA Wall and I can´t seem to find a gravestone for him in this cemetery.

 

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My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

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Notice that both Tarawa KIA Sanders are listed together and further down Perley Sargent is listed who was also KIA on Tarawa and Kevin S. has his posthumous Purple Heart and has an extensive thread on this medal forum about Sargent.

 

Kurt


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

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So mystery solved. Although the Wall of the Missing still has him listed as MIA, here is a photo of his grave from Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in the Detroit Michigan area. It is not just a tombstone with no grave as the records from the cemetery show that vaulted and casketed remains are buried there. It is a pretty late body repatriation from the WWII time period as it is listed in the cemetery records and his USMC file as 1951. 

 

Kurt

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My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

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Also interesting that the family chose not to use the US issued gravestone.

 

Kurt


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif



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