Private First Class William Franklin Cavin was born on December 4, 1924. He was raised in Hancock County by his uncle Henry Cavin. Frank, as he was called by friends and family, attended Atlantis Hill Elementary School, Mulberry Junior High School, and Hancock County High School.

Private First Class Cavin served in the United States Marine Corps in the Pacific theater of the war. He was killed in action on Tarawa Island on November 20, 1943. He is memorialized at the Honolulu Memorial in Hawaii. He is also memorialized in Overton Cemetery on Four Mile Creek in Hancock County.
-The above information was gathered with the help of Harry Montgomery, friend of Private First Class Cavin.

Marine Killed During World War II Accounted For (Cavin, W.)
By DPAA Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2018 — Marine Corps Pfc. William F. Cavin, killed during World War II, was accounted for on April 23, 2018.

In November 1943, Cavin was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion. 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Cavin died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

DPAA is grateful to the History Flight, Inc., and the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnerships in this mission.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Cavin’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For more information about DPAA, visit www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa, or call 703-699-1420.

See also:  https://www.wbir.com/video/news/local/military/family-prepares-to-bury-wwii-east-tennessee-marine/51-8167406

PFC William F. Cavin’s remains will arrive home Friday, Oct 12th at 3:07 pm from Hawaii to McGee Tyson airport. He will be transported to Robinette Funeral Home in Rose Hill, VA. On Saturday Oct. 13 his remains will be placed in his final resting place, Overton Cemetery in Hancock County, TN. (October 4, 2018)


Fulfilling Our Nation’s Promise

Marine Accounted For From World War II

To Be Buried With Full Military Honors

Oct. 4, 2018

WASHINGTON—  The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pfc. William F. Cavin, 19, of Ewing, Virginia, accounted for on April 23, 2018, will be buried October 13, in Hancock County, Tennessee. In November 1943, Cavin was assigned to Company F, 2ndBattalion. 8thMarine Regiment, 2ndMarine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Cavin died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

The battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Cavin’s remains were not identified. All of the remains found on Tarawa were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory for identification in 1947. By 1949, the remains that had not been identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In July 2013, DPAA received a unilateral turnover of remains, recovered by History Flight, Inc., a third-party organization, reportedly to have been found in Cemetery #33 on Betio Island.

On March 13, 2017, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-032 from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.  X-032 was consolidated with remains recovered by History Flight, Inc. To identify Cavin’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the History Flight, Inc., and the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnerships in this mission.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war.  Currently there are 72,810 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Cavin’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others killed or lost in WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaaor call (703) 699-1420/1169.

Cavin’s personal profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000LkhKEAS

 

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