Fallen Utah Marine killed in WWII identified after 75 years

Stock image | Photo by DmyTo/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A U.S. defense agency has identified and recovered the body of a Utah Marine about 76 years after he was killed in battle during World War II.

The U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Wednesday that 21-year-old Pfc. Robert Hatch of Woods Cross was killed in November 1943 after three days of fighting on a small island in the Pacific.

Authorities say Hatch was one of about 1,000 soldiers killed in the battle.

The military says his body was declared non-recoverable in 1949 after multiple search attempts.

Authorities used dental, anthropological, and chest radiograph comparison to identify him. His burial is set for Dec. 14 in Bountiful.

Authorities say more than 400,000 U.S. soldiers died in World War II, and about 73,000 of them are still unaccounted for.

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