WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - An Aberdeen, SD man is finally being honored for his service in World War II. Pvt. Archie W. Newell was fighting in the Pacific as a private in the Marine Corps. His remains went undiscovered for decades until late 2016. Newell was brought back to the homeland, where he received a hero’s welcome and burial.
Pvt. Archie W. Newell was killed on the first day of fighting in November of 1943 at Tarawa, Japan.
“We were finally bringing him home and putting him to rest,” said Nancy Franc, Newell’s niece.
She and Sherry Moeser, another niece of Newell’s, were there to greet his remains, placed in the hallowed grounds next to his brothers and sisters in arms.
“It was closure for everyone,” said Franc.
The Marine Corps Private’s remains were missing for 74 years. It was eventually discovered he was killed at Tarawa in the Pacific, one of 1,000 U.S. Marines and Sailors killed during the battle.
“Ever since they found him we’ve had nothing but respect and honor for him from the Marine Corps,” said Moeser.
Newell was only identified after scientists did a series of tests in late 2016. The tests matched his records, leading to the delivery of his remains here to Arlington.
They put on a full service for him and his loved ones, including a gun salute, the Marine Band and service from a chaplain. Newell’s family is grateful they have answers and, they say, peace.
“He’s where he needs to be, he’s with all the guys that he served with,” said Franc.
Franc says while the family struggled with the unknown of Newell’s passing for 74 years, the Marines never gave up.
“He served our country and served it well… they fulfilled their promise ‘don’t leave any man behind,’” said Franc.