Marine Corps Pfc. Mervin D. Galland

EVELETH — An Eveleth Marine who died during World War II in 1943 was accounted for earlier this month, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

Marine Corps Pfc. Mervin D. Galland, 24, of Eveleth, died on Nov. 22, 1943 as a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division when they faced Japanese resistance on the Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands.

Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, about 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded.

The fighting on Betio enabled U.S. forces to press further across the Pacific, and yielded valuable tactical lessons that reduced U.S. losses in future amphibious landings.

Galland died on the third day of battle and was reported to have been buried in Row D of the East Division Cemetery, later renamed Cemetery 33, but his remains were not located when the temporary cemeteries on Betio were investigated after the end of hostilities.

He was accounted for by DPAA on May 11, 2020.

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