Marines and Sailors with the 31st MEU visit children’s hospital in Sydney

Marines and Sailors with the 31st MEU visit children’s hospital in Sydney

Lt. Cmdr. Jay Weatherwax, a chaplain with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, speaks with a child during a visit to the Royal Alexandria Hospital for Children, Sydney, Australia, June 20, 2019. The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU, provides a flexible force ready to perform a wide range of military operations as the premier crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Luis Velez)
Marines and Sailors with the 31st MEU visit children’s hospital in Sydney

1st Marine Aircraft Wing Change of Command

1st Marine Aircraft Wing Change of Command

Marines and families with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing participate in a change of command ceremony honoring the incoming general, Brig. Gen. Christopher A. McPhillips, and the outgoing commanding general, Maj. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, on June 25, 2019. 1st MAW operates throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility, supporting numerous operations, exercises and humanitarian aid missions. The change of command ceremony represents the transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from the outgoing commanding general to the incoming commanding general. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Lance Cpl. Leo Amaro)
1st Marine Aircraft Wing Change of Command

Back to School: Scholarships presented at MCAS Miramar

Back to School: Scholarships presented at MCAS Miramar

Chaplain Manuel Biadog, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar command chaplain, gives invocation during the Defense Commissary Agency and The Fisher House Foundation Scholarship Award Ceremony at MCAS Miramar, Calif., June 26. The Fisher House Foundation is a program that provides scholarships to servicemember’s children along with other methods of supporting military personnel and their families. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jake McClung)
Back to School: Scholarships presented at MCAS Miramar

31st MEU Marines and Sailors celebrate 121st birthday of Hospital Corpsmen aboard USS Wasp

31st MEU Marines and Sailors celebrate 121st birthday of Hospital Corpsmen aboard USS Wasp

Lt. Cmdr. Jay Weatherwax, Chaplain with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, invites Marines and Sailors to pray during the invocation of the celebration for the 121st birthday of Hospital Corpsmen aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), underway in the Coral Sea, June 17, 2019. Wasp, flagship of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as ready-response force for any type of contingency, while simultaneously providing a flexible and lethal crisis response force ready to perform a wide range of military operations. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Kevan Dunlop)
31st MEU Marines and Sailors celebrate 121st birthday of Hospital Corpsmen aboard USS Wasp

Military Funeral Honors for U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Howard Lurcott in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery

Military Funeral Honors for U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Howard Lurcott in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery

U.S. Army Chaplain (Capt.) Marta Conway speaks during military funeral honors for U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Howard T. Lurcott in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, June 26, 2019. Killed during World War II, Lurcott was accounted for on Jan. 28, 2019 and was buried 75 years after he went missing.

From the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency:

On Jan. 21, 1944, Lurcott was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when the B-24J bomber aircraft he was piloting crashed into Tarawa lagoon shortly after takeoff. Lurcott and the nine other servicemen aboard the aircraft were killed.
Rescue crews recovered the remains of five individuals, however Lurcott was not among those recovered. The three identified sets of remains and two unidentified sets were reportedly interred in Cemetery No. 33 on Betio Island, one of several cemeteries established on the island after the U.S. seized the island from the Japanese in November 1943.
Following the war, the U.S. Army’s 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947. Using U.S. Marine Corps records, they began the task of consolidating all the remains from isolated burial sites into a single cemetery called Lone Palm Cemetery. The remains of the B-24J crew were believed to be among those moved, however Lurcott’s remains were not identified and he was declared non-recoverable.
Throughout 1949, 94 sets of unidentified Tarawa remains were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, known as the Punchbowl.
On Jan. 23, 2017, DPAA disinterred “Tarawa Unknown X-15 from the Punchbowl” and send the remains to the laboratory. Later in 2017, History Flight, Inc., a non-profit organization, through a partnership with DPAA, uncovered a series of coffin burials from Cemetery #33, which were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for analysis. The remains were consolidated with Tarawa Unknown X-15.
To identify Lurcott’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Lurcott’s Niece, Janice Hechler, received the flag from her uncle’s casket.

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery / released)
Military Funeral Honors for U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Howard Lurcott in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery

Mission of the Chaplain

Mission of the Chaplain

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Derek N. Vande-Slunt, deputy command chaplain assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, writes down a message for the command chaplain after receiving an important phone call. Vande-Slunt has been a Navy chaplain for almost 3 years and is leaving for his next duty station on a ship in August 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Pfc. Aliannah T. Bartok)
Mission of the Chaplain