The remains of a Mississippi U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. The remains (were flown) into Jackson International Airport Saturday at 11 a.m.
Marine Pfc. James S. Smith, 19, of Liberty, Mississippi, will be buried Oct. 17 in Liberty, Mississippi.
In November 1943, Smith was assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 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, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Smith died sometime during the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.