SGT George Ernest Trotter

SGT George Ernest Trotter

Birth
Hudson, Lincoln County, South Dakota, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 38)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot SECTION 22 SITE 1900
Memorial ID 201060714 · View Source
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Burial is scheduled for Friday August 9, 2019Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter, killed during World War II, was identified April 16, 2019 and accounted for May 6, 2019, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). He will be laid to rest Aug. 9, 2019, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In November 1943, Trotter was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated.

Trotter 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. PlSgt Trotter's body was reportedly buried first in the Division Cemetery #26 and later moved to the Lone Palm Cemetery on Betio; however, when the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, Trotter’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.

In 2017, advances in forensic analysis prompted the disinterment of several unknowns from the Battle of Tarawa. Platoon Sergeant Trotter's remains were among these and were eventually identified.

Trotter’s name is permenantly inscribed in Court 4 of the "Courts of the Missing" at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific's Honolulu Memorial (56133923, cenotaph). A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate George has been accounted for.

VISITATION
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos
1524 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571

MEMORIAL SERVICE
Friday, August 9, 2019
9:00 AM
DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos
1524 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571

INTERMENT
Friday, August 9, 2019
1:30 PM
Santa Fe National Cemetery, Taos

DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos
1524 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571
Tel: 575-300-5288
www.devargastaos.com

SOURCE:
DPAA Release No: 19-069 (May 8, 2019)

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter, 38, of Kansas City, Missouri, killed during World War II, was accounted for on April 16, 2019.

In November 1943, Trotter was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against still 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Trotter died on the first day of the battle, November 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. 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 Trotter’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 as unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including one set, designated as Tarawa Unknown X-055.

On March 13, 2017, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-055 from the NMCP for identification.

To identify Trotter’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission. Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,698 service members still unaccounted for from World War II, of which approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable. Trotter’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the NMCP, along with the others missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Arrival of Platoon Sergeant George Ernest Trotter remains will be on August 6th, 2019 and will be escorted back to Taos New Mexico and placed in state at DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos.

Platoon Sergeant George Ernest Trotter is survived by his great niece Mary Gould and husband Richard of Taos, their children Ashley O’Brian and her companion Cooper Blankenship, and children Jacob O’Brian and Erik O’Brian and wife Wendy; great nephew Henry Roy Liles and wife Barbara; along with numerous other great great nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Public visitation will be on August 7th and 8th in the Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos, memorial service will be held on Friday August 9th, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. also in the Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos with burial to follow at 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery with full military honors. The family of Platoon Sergeant George Ernest Trotter has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos. 575-300-5288 www.devargastaos.com

The Guardian
The Newsletter of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services
September 2019:

Recently Identified/Previously Unknown Pearl Harbor, Battle of Tarawa KIA’s Re-Interred in Santa Fe
Two WWII service members who were killed in action and buried as “unidentified”—only to have their identities finally discovered this year—were laid to rest with military honors at the Santa Fe National
Cemetery.

USMC Sgt. George E. Trotter

Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter was interred on April 9. Sgt. Trotter was 38-years old when he was among more than 1,000 U.S. service members who lost their lives in the Battle of Tarawa between November 20-23, 1943, in the South Pacific. The Kansas City native was killed on the first day of combat. His body was recovered, and along with hundreds of other unidentified casualties, were buried on the island.

Between 1946-47 the remains of these fallen service members were recovered and sent to Honolulu for another attempt at identification. Those that were unable to be identified—including the remains of Sgt. Trotter—were then interred as “unknowns” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. Sgt. Trotter’s remains were designated as “Tarawa Unknown X-055.”

Through the years, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) continued to attempt to identify these and all unidentified remains—not only from the Battle of Tarawa, but all unidentified KIA’s/MIA’s in subsequent wars. Advances in forensics technology finally enabled DPAA to make a positive identification of Sgt. Trotter this April.

Since the end of WWII, families of many MIA’s/missing KIA’s had submitted DNA samples to DPAA in hopes of one day matching samples from these unidentified casualties. This April, a “positive” DNA match was made with DNA samples submitted by one of Sgt. Trotter’s Great Nieces, Mary Gould, of Taos—who along with her brother Henry Liles are the only known direct descendants of Sgt. Trotter. The Gould and Liles families requested that Sgt. Trotter’s remains be re-interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. “This has been such an incredible story…an incredible journey,” said Ashley O’Brian, the daughter of Mary Gould and speaking on behalf of the family after the brief re-interment ceremony on August 9 at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. “After all these years, my Great
Uncle is finally home…at last.”


Inscription

PLT SGT US MARINE CORPS
WORLD WAR II


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  • Created by: Graveyard Walker
  • Added: 12 Jul 2019
  • Find A Grave Memorial 201060714
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for SGT George Ernest Trotter (9 Jul 1905–20 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 201060714, citing Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Graveyard Walker (contributor 47314881) .