PFC Ronald William Vosmer

PFC Ronald William Vosmer

Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 22)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
Plot Blk 110, Lot 89, Grave 2
Memorial ID 169120160 · View Source
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Welcomed into this world on June 1, 1921, Ronald William was the youngest of 2 and only son born to Denver-natives Henry Ronald & Viola Evelyn (Warwick) Vosmer.

During his early years, the Vosmers lived next door to Viola’s sister Anna Marguerite and her husband Albert Higginbottom on South Lincoln Street, so naturally Ronald and his sister Elaine grew up playing and attending the local schools with their cousins, Bernice and Raymond.

The 21-year-old enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on September 4, 1942. He would go through training with the Tenth Recruit Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego and then to nearby Camp Elliott. Ronald would ship out into the Pacific Theater as part of A Battery, 2nd Antitank Battalion, arriving soon after in New Zealand to prepare for their first battle.

PFC Ronald William Vosmer was with his brothers in the 8th Marines (Easy/2) of the 2nd Marine Division when they disembarked from the USS Heywood and 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 Corps history.

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

On January 10, 1944, page 4 of the Greeley Tribune began its column of Casualties with “Marine Pvt. Ronald Vosmer, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Vosmer of 1563 Williams St, Denver, killed fighting somewhere in the Pacific". Later, the family would learn the name and location of the battle where their son gave his life; but in October of 1949, the final word came – PFC Ronald William Vosmer’s remains were non-recoverable.

For almost 72 years, PFC Vosmer remained buried - indeed, lost - on that island where he and so many of his brothers-in-arms fell; however, in June of 2015, Ronald was recovered by a non-governmental organization, History Flight, which notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 36 U.S. Marines and Navy Corpsmen who fought during the battle.

On April 12, 2016, PFC Ronald William Vosmer was officially accounted-for and soon after his niece and nephew, Lulane and Ron, received the news that they never thought would come; rather than a telegram bearing such horrible heartache and grief, there was a knock at the door and the Marines letting them know that the wait was over.

On October 8, 2016, PFC Ronald William Vosmer will be laid to rest near his parents – in American soil – at Fairmount Cemetery.

PFC Vosmer's name can be found among the Tablets of the Missing in Honolulu, Hawaii (56134431) as well as on Panel: 3, Column: 5, Row: 72 of the Colorado Freedom Memorial.

Cenotaph here Ronald Vosmer

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  • Created by: JSMorrison
  • Added: 30 Aug 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 169120160
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Ronald William Vosmer (1 Jun 1921–20 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 169120160, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by JSMorrison (contributor 47978427) .