PFC Jack Harvey Krieger

PFC Jack Harvey Krieger

Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas, USA
Death 20 Nov 1943 (aged 28)
Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, Kiribati
Burial Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas, USA
Plot SC 248
Memorial ID 86874161 · View Source
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On May 28, 2018, Marine Corps PFC Jack Harvey Krieger, 28, killed during World War II, was finally laid to rest - in American soil - with full military honors.

Jack Harvey Krieger was born August the 19th, 1915 in Pawnee County, Kansas to Harvey Lee & Etelka Frances (Reed) Krieger. He later excelled at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, and would eventually enlist there in the United States Marine Corps.

Private First Class Krieger was assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Marine Regiment (A-1/18) when they landed on Betio as part of Operation: GALVANIC. The mission of the 2nd Marine Division 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 the Corps history.

It was November 20, 1943 (D-Day for the "Battle of Tarawa"), when young Jack - just 28 years old - perished.

Having a loved one away from home during the holidays is always trying; however, having a son off fighting in the war left the whole family on edge. The fact that this battle took place just before Thanksgiving meant that most of the families, who had unknowingly earned their Gold Star, would receive their heart-wrenching telegrams on Christmas Eve – some Christmas Day or even New Years Day.

For his service and sacrifice, Jack's mother accepted the Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation.

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 Island, but PFC Krieger’s remains were not recovered. On Oct. 7, 1949, a military review board declared Jack "non-recoverable". Remains that had been recovered were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii. Remains that could not be identified were subsequently buried as Unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP, known as "the Punchbowl"), in Honolulu.

In 2013, through a partnership with History Flight, Inc., the DPMO's laboratory received remains recovered from a site believed to be Cemetery 25 on Betio Island.

In 2015, Jennifer Morrison, an independent volunteer forensic genealogist, found the family of PFC Krieger and put them in contact with the the Marine Corps POW/MIA Section. This (re)established lines of communication with Jack’s family regarding the ongoing recovery and repatriation efforts, and offered Sheila Poole the opportunity to provide the Family Reference DNA Sample ultimately necessary for Jack's identification.

On April 3, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs disinterred Tarawa X-224 from the "The Punchbowl" and accessioned them to the lab for analysis.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that, on February 1, 2018, Jack had been accounted-for. To identify PFC Krieger’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Mrs Poole's mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

Years ago, a memorial marker was placed next to his parents' in hopes that he would one day be found and returned home. Memorial Day 2018, Jack was finally be laid to rest there.

Marine Corps Private First Class Jack Harvey Krieger is memorialized among the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific' Honolulu Memorial. Although Jack has now been recovered and identified, his name shall remain permanently inscribed within Court 4 of the "Courts of the Missing" (56113485, a cenotaph). A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate Jack is no longer missing.

Marine Corps POW/MIA Section
DPAA Release No: 18-064 (May 21, 2018)
DPAA Recent News & Stories (Feb. 1, 2018)
American Battle Monuments Commission
Jennifer Morrison, independent volunteer forensic genealogist
Note from the memorial maintainer:
I am grateful to Chuck Williams & Hattie Johnson (USMC POW/MIA Section), the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab, History Flight, the DVA and the DPAA for their efforts in bringing my Marine home. “It takes a village!”

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  • Maintained by: JSMorrison
  • Originally Created by: Skip
  • Added: 16 Mar 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 86874161
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Jack Harvey Krieger (19 Aug 1915–20 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 86874161, citing Larned Cemetery, Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by JSMorrison (contributor 47978427) .