PFC John Richard “Jack” Bayens

PFC John Richard “Jack” Bayens

Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Death 22 Nov 1943 (aged 20)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 204949520 · View Source
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Private First-Class John "Jack" Richard Bayens USMC

Louisville - U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. John Richard Bayens, 20, of Louisville, was killed in action during World War II's Battle of Tarawa, on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Island. Pfc. Bayens was a member of B Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. Pfc. Bayens was awarded a Purple Heart, American Defense Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Pfc. Bayens was buried on Tarawa in an unmarked mass grave, and later he was classified Missing In Action. The burial site was discovered in March 2019 by a dedicated team from History Flight, Inc, a non-profit organization, who works in cooperation with the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Pfc. Bayens started his journey back home to Louisville in July 2019 when his remains along with the remains of 21 other Marines were flown to Hawaii to be positively identified. 76 years after his death, he will be buried on Monday, December 16, close to his parents in Evergreen Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Jack was born November 15, 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky. Jack attended St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School, St. Xavier and Male High School where he was in the ROTC.

Jack joined the Marine Corp on August 27, 1941. He was only 17 years old but in his heart he felt the call to serve.

Jack was a devoted son and a loving big brother to his sister, Rosemary. Jack and his sister were inseparable. They both loved the water and spending carefree days on the Ohio River on their small sailboat. Jack was always full of life and had a big contagious smile.

He is joined in heaven with his loving parents, Val Bayens and Rose Black Bayens, his devoted sister, Rosemary Bayens Massey, his nephew, Robert V. Massey, great nieces, Mary Paige Poteet Garmon, and Sarah Poteet, great nephew, Jason Massey and great-great nephew, Will Poteet-Berndt.

Jack is survived by his nieces and nephews, Rosemary Massey Poteet, Jim Massey (Moondra), Jack Massey (Sue Ann), Bob's widow - Marilyn, Fran Massey Mitchum (Pat), Pat Massey (Deborah), Joe Massey (Brenda), and many great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.

Family and friends of Jack will gather to honor his return home and celebrate his life on Monday, December 16 from 10:00am - 12:00 noon at Owen Funeral Home - Jeffersontown, 9318 Taylorsville Road. At noon, Father Shayne Duvall will officiate a Mass in honor of Pfc. John Richard Bayens. Followed by graveside service with full Marine Corps honors at Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given in Jack's memory to History Flight, Inc.

Published in The Courier-Journal from Dec. 3 to Dec. 15, 2019

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  • Created by: Deputys Wife
  • Added: 23 Nov 2019
  • Find A Grave Memorial 204949520
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC John Richard “Jack” Bayens (15 Nov 1923–22 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 204949520, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Deputys Wife (contributor 47786145) .