PFC Glenn Franklin White


The Emporia Gazette

World War II Marine Private First Class (Pfc.) Glenn White, who was killed in action on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, Nov. 22, 1943, is coming home to Emporia today, Sept. 17.

His homecoming coincides with National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is observed on the third Friday in September. It honors those who were prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.

White will be repatriated to his family in a private ceremony at Kansas City International Airport shortly after noon. An escorted procession will then proceed via I-435, I-35, and Sixth Avenue in Emporia to Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home with a planned arrival time between 3-4 p.m.

During the fierce fighting for Betio, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and 2,000 wounded. Pfc. White was killed on the third day of the battle, and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his brave actions and extreme courage. White was previously listed as “not recoverable.”

The public is encouraged to honor Pfc. White and this Gold Star family anywhere along this route. Emporia-area residents can join in a flag line east of Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home along Sixth Avenue.

At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, Pfc. White will be escorted from the Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home to Maplewood Memorial Lawn Cemetery.

The procession will head west on Sixth Avenue to Prairie Street, then continue north to the cemetery. The public is welcome and encouraged to pay their respects anywhere along the route.

A graveside service will occur at 11 a.m. Military honors. The public is welcome to attend.

(3) comments


Dear Glenn White, You don't know me. I moved here from the east coast years ago. ( I hope someone gets this message to you. For many, many years, I do not know why, I pray every single night for POW's and MIA's, I am not sure why, I do not know anyone in the Service. But you cannot imagine my joy when reading this, I just know God answers prayer, sometimes I would find myself saying this prayer over and over and telling my wife, I must keep praying for this. The world is strange, you never know who is thinking about you, I hope you keep the Lord in your life, I will always keep praying for more. William

Paul Loya

PFC Glenn White was a brave and valiant marine, my uncle Alexander Peña also was at Tarawa, he was KIA July 30th 1944 on Tinian, they were both in the 6th marine regiment but different battalions,Glenn in the 1st my uncle in the 3rd, they might have known eachother, those marines who fought in those battles were all heroes, the greatest generation of all time, God Bless America!!

Stone Foundation

“His Lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21.

PFC Glenn Franklin White was reported as Killed in Action by shrapnel wounds to the head and chest on 22 November 1943 on Tarawa. Retired Wichita Police Chief Rick Stone, while a member of the Department of Defense in 2011/2012, investigated all of the unresolved Tarawa casualties using the Random Incident Statistical Correlation System (RISC) to compare the MIA's from Tarawa to all the "Unknowns" buried in the Punchbowl Cemetery. Chief Stone concluded that PFC White was NOT an "Unknown."  In July 2017, PFC White's family contacted the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation who confirmed that PFC White was not an "Unknown" but was buried in Grave 26, Row D, Cemetery 33 on Tarawa, which was known as one of Tarawa's “Lost Cemeteries."   After a building collapse on Tarawa in 2019, a contractor finally discovered Row D.  PFC White was identified from the long lost cemetery row and grave as indicated by Foundation research. His official identification was announced by the Department of Defense on 7 July 2021.

Welcome home Marine! We share the joy of your family in your return! God Bless you and thanks to ALL who never forgot you and your service to our country!

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