Marine Raider Recovery from Makin Island

Marine Raider Recovery from Makin Island

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Join The Explorers Club on May 20th to hear the fascinating story of a 1997 expedition to Makin Island in the Pacific Ocean, where Explorers Club Member Harry Brooks worked to recover and honor the remains of nineteen World War II marines.

In 1997 Harry Brooks led fellow explorers to Butaritari, a small island in the Pacific known as Makin Island during WWII. Makin Island was also the location of a famous amphibious assault led in 1942 by Lt. Colonel Evans Carlson. Carlson popularized the phrase “Gung Ho” which he had picked up fighting alongside Chinese guerillas. Nineteen of “Carlson’s Raiders” were killed and not recovered. By happenstance, Brook’s group discovered a partially exposed skeleton in the jungle. The doctors in the group said that the height of the person would have been much taller than the average local. Brooks and Marine Raider veterans persuaded the Military Identification Unit in Hawaii to send a team to Makin Island. That expedition failed, but undeterred Brooks and the Raders Association push for a second attempt which succeeded. The bodies of all nineteen Raiders were recovered, and many were reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery.

This will be an in-person lecture at Explorers Club Headquarters.

In-person tickets are $15 for Members, and $30 for the General Public.

Check-in will begin at 6:00 pm, with a beer and wine reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm