Kenneth K Kunkle

Kenneth K Kunkle - Stories

Long Journey Home

  • Makin Island

He was killed during the Makin Island Raid and hastily buried in an unmarked mass grave with other battle casualties by nearby residents.  He remained missing until a Joint Task Force Full Accounting team began investigating a potential burial site on the island.  Advised of the location by island natives, including one claiming to be a member of the 1942 burial party, the team found the grave and began an excavation.  The Central Identification Laboratory was able to recover his remains and identification tags, along with 18 other Marines.  They were returned to the lab and identified in 2000.  He was buried in his hometown next to his parents and as part of a group burial in Arlington National Cemetery on the 59th anniversary of the battle.