WWII marine’s body returns home to Tennessee after mix-up over 70 years ago

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LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nearly 80 years after being killed in WWII, a Marine’s remains were returned home to Lebanon, Tennessee Wednesday. 

“He gave his life for our country,” said Lane Martin, Captain Edward Glenn Walker’s nephew. 

Capt. Walker was killed during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943. He was 26 years old. 

After the war, Marines attempted to recover those buried but a mix-up sent Walker’s remains 6700 miles to the wrong family in Hawaii.

“The retrieving of those bodies in 1946, they found his dog tags, but they associated them with someone else’s body,” Martin told Nexstar’s WKRN in May.

The remains of the person mistakenly buried next to Walker’s family members in Lebanon will be exhumed and identified after Walker’s burial, according to the Tennessean.

“He was more or less a part of my life even though he wasn’t alive,” said Martin.

Martin learned about his uncle through family stories and letters. 

“He was in Harvard law school when he decided to join the marines. And when he was in the marines, he was still a young man — he was dating girls and having a good time,” Martin said.

“My mother would cry even on up into her 70s when you would mention his name.”

On Wednesday, Capt. Walker’s rightful remains were brought home with full honors. A memorial service is set for Saturday at Fairview Church. 

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