GYSGT Sidney Asa Cook

GYSGT Sidney Asa Cook

Meigs, Meigs County, Ohio, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 32)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 60 | Site 11899
Memorial ID 175242889 · View Source
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Son of Hugh Rice and Estella Blanche (Humphrey) Cook, Hemlock Grove, Ohio. Attended Chester H.S. Christian Church.

Entered service June 4, 1934, Parris Island, SC; San Diego, CA; Guadalcanal.

In November 1943, Cook was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 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.

Cook died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. For his service and sacrifice, his parents received the Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation.

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. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio, but Cook’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 8, 1949, a military review board declared Cook’s remains non-recoverable.

In June 2015, a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines who fought during the battle in November 1943. The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015.

DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Sidney Asa Cook was laid to rest Sept. 6, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

Link - Funeral Announcement (31.Aug.2017)
Link - DPAA: Recent News & Stories (06.Jan.2017)
World War II Young American Patriots, 1941-1945

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  • Created by: JSMorrison
  • Added: 12 Jan 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 175242889
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for GYSGT Sidney Asa Cook (18 Feb 1911–20 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 175242889, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by JSMorrison (contributor 47978427) .