PFC Nicholas John Cancilla

PFC Nicholas John Cancilla

Birth
Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 18)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section A 2100, Lot W-1/2
Memorial ID 55902187 · View Source
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via SAC 2/2011:
United States Marine Corps
enlistment date: 07 October 1942
born: 16 December 1924
died: 20 November 1943
Info from PA Dept of Military Affairs
Per a member DNA identified his remains and returned the to the USA in 2016.
Marine Pfc. Pfc. Nicholas J. Cancilla, killed in World War II, has now been accounted for.In November 1943, Cancilla was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed a 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 day of intense fighting, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. Cancilla died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. In late 2012, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, now DPAA, conducted a mission to Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, to investigate an area previously identified by a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., as a site for recovery of possible American remains from the November 1943 battle. During this investigation, the team recovered the remains of three individuals from an area previously identified as Cemetery 25. Lab analysis, in conjunction with the totality of circumstantial evidence available, established Cancilla's remains were included. Pfc. Cancilla’s remains were returned to Altoona, where he was memorialized at a funeral Mass on Monday at his childhood parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. He was buried next to his Italian-immigrant parents in Calvary Cemetery and near the grave of his namesake and nephew — who was himself killed in the Vietnam War in 1969.


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Gravesite Details Entered the service from Pennsylvania.

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  • Created by: Kat
  • Added: 5 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55902187
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Nicholas John Cancilla (6 Dec 1924–20 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55902187, citing Calvary Cemetery, Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Kat (contributor 19409629) .