American War Heroes Return Home Seven Decades Later

By Published on September 30, 2015

Clay Bonnyman Evans knew all there was to know about his grandfather though the two had never met until that moment under several feet of crushed coral rock on a remote island in the Pacific.

Evans was polite when requesting the anthropology brush he would use to sweep some of the dust from his grandfather’s remains when they were found in May on the Tawara Atoll.

“My whole life I grew up with that medal on the wall and the citation,” Evans said, holding back tears. “He’s always been my hero.”

Evans, referring to the Medal of Honor his grandfather earned posthumously for his heroism in World War II’s Battle of Tarawa, had reached the end of a five-year journey. His grandfather’s story actually stretched back more than seven decades, to November 22, 1943, when 1st Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr. led his fellow Marines to charge a bunker that Japanese soldiers had managed to employ as a linchpin to hold back a relentless offensive.


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Jennie Allen
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