Thursday, June 20, 2019

USN WW2 Veteran Burial Place Discovered 40 Years Later

There are not many details I can give about this project in terms of names (in order to protect the privacy of the family), but there was a great success today in terms of an exciting discovery.
I've been in touch with a family whose father served as a Seabee in the Pacific in WW2. His tour of duty was extensive throughout many islands in the Pacific. He enlisted quite young and turned 18 while overseas in 1944.  

Sadly, he left his wife and young baby daughter in Kentucky and moved to Southern California after the War. They never saw or heard from him again. He died penniless and as a homeless man on the streets of LA in 1979 at age 53. The family was able to see that he was cremated per a death certificate acquired decades later, but never could find his ashes. 

Today; after 2 hours of phone calls and a trail though Los Angeles County bureaucracy, I spoke with a kind and wonderfully efficient, professional man at the Los Angeles County Crematorium and Cemetery (Mr. Garnett). He was able to find the archived log of when this USN Veteran was cremated, where his ashes was stored for 5 years, and where he was buried in a mass grave of unclaimed ashes in Los Angeles. For the year he was cremated (1980), there were 998 unclaimed cremated remains buried together in a mass grave.
We now have his final resting place. While so many questions about his life may never be answered, this is one 40 year old mystery surrounding this soul that is solved.