PFC Roland Everett Schaede

PFC Roland Everett Schaede

Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 19)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Saint Charles, Kane County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section D
Memorial ID 155901302 · View Source
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Born on March 24, 1924 in Forest Park, Illinois, Roland Everett Schaede was the 3rd of four children blessed to the union of Emil & Edna (Schlager) Schaede.

The Cook County native attended Garfield Elementary School in Maywood before graduating with the Proviso East High School class of 1941. Roland was working at the Taylor Pipe Forge Company on the 28th of November, 1942 when he took a drive down to Chicago to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Completing his training at Camp Gillespie and Camp Elliott before shipping out into the Pacific Theater, the 26th Replacement Battalion's first station would be Wellington, New Zealand where they would await orders for their first battle.

PFC Schaede later found himself with his brothers in Mike Company, 3rd Battalion of the 8th Marines (M-3-8) when they landed on Betio. Their mission was to secure the island in order to control the Japanese airstrip in the Tarawa Atoll; thereby preventing the Japanese Imperial forces from getting closer to the United States, and enabling US forces to get closer to mainland Japan. It would become one of the bloodiest battles in the Corps history.

It was November 20th (D-Day for the "Battle of Tarawa"), when young Roland - just 22 years old - perished.

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 Schaede’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 28, 1949, a military review board declared Schaede’s remains non-recoverable.

Left to mourn Roland's passing were his parents, brother Donald and sister Margaret. (Preceding him in death was his oldest sister, Dolores.) Their hometown community bonded together and, on August the 29th, of 1946, the Roland Schaede Detachment of the Marine Corps League received its charter.

For more than 71 years, Roland remained buried - indeed, lost - on that island where he and so many of his brothers-in-arms fell; however, in June of 2015, History Flight, a nongovernmental organization, notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines and following month those were turned over to the DPAA.

In December of 2015, the DPAA officially announced that Roland was identified based on his dental analysis, chest radiograph comparison, and anthropological comparison, which matched PFC Schaede’s records; as well as circumstantial and material evidence. The following May, his family received the call - Roland was coming home.

On September 14, 2017, PFC Schaede was laid to rest next to his brother and their parents at Union Cemetery (St Charles IL) with full military honors.

Roland's name was permanently inscribed on Court 4 of the Courts of the Missing in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. A rosette has now been placed next to his name indicating that he is now home.

Link - DPAA: News Release (11.Sep.2017)
DPAA: Recent News & Stories (17.Jun.2017)

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  • Created by: JSMorrison
  • Added: 10 Dec 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 155901302
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Roland Everett Schaede (24 Mar 1924–20 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 155901302, citing Union Cemetery, Saint Charles, Kane County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by JSMorrison (contributor 47978427) .