PFC Merton Raymond Riser

PFC Merton Raymond Riser

Birth
Sanborn, O'Brien County, Iowa, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 19)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Sanborn, O'Brien County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID 166088300 · View Source
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Merton Raymond Riser enlisted in the Marine Corps 14 December, 1942 from Sanborn, Iowa. Qualified as an Expert Rifleman and completed recruit training in the 9th Recruit Training Battalion, MCB San Diego, CA. Assigned to B Company, Infantry Battalion, MCB Camp Elliott, CA. 16 August, 1943 promoted to Private First Class. Assigned to the 26th Replacement Battalion. During September 1943 embarked Naval Vessel at San Diego for movement overseas. 4 October, 1943 arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia. 6 October, 1943 embarked USS Tryon (APH-1). 10 October, 1943 arrived at Wellington, New Zealand. 11 October 1943 assigned to K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Paekakariki. 30 October, 1943 embarked USS Monrovia (APA-31) at Wellington. 7-14 November, 1943 landing rehearsals at Efate, New Hebrides. Killed in action during landing operations Red Beach Two Tarawa D-Day 20 November, 1943.

Next of Kin: Parents, Mr John E and Mrs Elsie L Riser, Sanborn, Iowa.

Commemorated on the Wall of Missing at the ABMC Honolulu Memorial.

Courtesy of Sgt. Bellis - USMC

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Marine Killed During World War II Accounted For (Riser, M.)

DEFENSE POW / MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCY·FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2018

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Merton R. Riser, killed during World War II, was accounted for on June 20, 2018.

In November 1943, Riser was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Riser died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

DPAA is grateful to the Department for Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Riser’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

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WASHINGTON — 21 SEPT 2018

WASHINGTON— The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Merton R. Riser, 19, of Sanborn, Iowa, accounted for on June 20, will be buried September 28 in his hometown.

In November 1943, Riser was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Riser died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Despite the heavy casualties suffered by U.S. forces, military success in the battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

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. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Riser’s remains were not identified. All of the remains found on Tarawa were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory for identification in 1947. By 1949, the remains that had not been identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

On Nov. 21, 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-144 from the NMCP for identification.

To identify Riser’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) analysis, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Courtesy of usafdo


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  • Created by: Don Peterson
  • Added: 26 Jun 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 166088300
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Merton Raymond Riser (1 Sep 1924–20 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 166088300, citing Roseland Cemetery, Sanborn, O'Brien County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Don Peterson (contributor 48693225) .