Harry C. Morrissey buried at Arlington National Cemetery, repatriated from Guadalcanal after 78 years
Marine Corps Pfc. Harry C. Morrissey, 27, of Everett, Massachusetts, killed during World War II, was buried Sept 22, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery.
On October 9, 1942, Morrissey was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, participating in a main offensive action in the Battle of Guadalcanal. After nearly two months of battle, the regiment completed their action. However, due to rapid unit movement, Marines who had been killed in action were buried hastily. Morrissey and two other Marines from his battalion were reportedly interred in graves atop Hill 73.
From 1947 through 1949, the American Graves Registration Service searched for isolated burials on Guadalcanal, but did not associate any remains with Morrissey. Based on the lack of information, Morrissey was declared non-recoverable.
In 2011, Yorick Tokuru, a resident of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, located possible remains near his home on the western edge of Skyline Ridge (Hill 73). A team of Royal Solomon Islands Po- lice Force investigators excavated the site and turned recovered remains over to the state archaeologist.
The archaeologist turned the remains over to John Innes, an Australian expert on the Battle of Guadalcanal, who in turn contacted the Joint POW/MIA Recovery Command (JPAC, the predecessor unit to DPAA).
On July 12, 2013, Ewan Stevenson, a Guadalcanal native living in New Zealand, contacted JPAC stating more remains had been recovered near the site of the 2011 recovery location.
On August 6, 2013, the remains were unilaterally turned over to JPAC for identification.
To identify Morrissey’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to Yorick Tokuru, John Innes, Ewan Stevenson and the Solomon Islands government and police force for their assistance in this recovery.
Courtesy of the DPAA