GARDENDALE, Pa. (CBS) — The remains of a Marine from Delaware County who was killed during World War II will soon be laid to rest. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Michael Kocopy, of Gardendale, was 20 years old when he was killed in 1943.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says Kocopy was killed on Nov. 20, 1943 during a battle on the small island of Betio — part of the Gilbert Islands. Approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed in the battle with Japanese forces.
Officials say Kocopy’s remains were reportedly buried in the Central Division Cemetery on the island. In 1949, a Board of Review declared him “non-recoverable,” according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
In 2014, a nonprofit identified and excavated the site. Remains were turned over to DPAA in 2015. Official say Kocopy’s remains were accounted for on Aug. 27, 2019.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Jan. 30.