Newly identified remains of WWII Marine heading home

Newly identified remains of WWII Marine heading home

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The recently identified remains of a Marine killed on a remote atoll in the Pacific during World War II are heading home to Tennessee.

First Lt. Alexander "Sandy" Bonnyman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was commended for the bravery he displayed leading a 21-man team against Japanese forces during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.

Bonnyman was among 36 unidentified Marines exhumed in Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati earlier this year. The remains were brought to Hawaii for identification in July.

The Marine Corps plans to hold a departure ceremony for Bonnyman in Honolulu on Thursday. Bonnyman's family plans to bury him in Knoxville on Sunday.

Bonnyman's grandson Clay Bonnyman Evans says his great-grandparents started working in 1944 to have the Marine identified and brought home.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.