VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., July 7 (UPI) -- A Virginia team seeking answers to a grizzly World War II mystery says it hopes it can help bring closure to the families of 22 long-missing Marines.
A largely forgotten episode and mystery of the Guadalcanal campaign may soon be solved with the help of Radford University researchers and students, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday.
The group is headed for the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific armed with ground-penetrating radar to look for graves or human remains within a 6-acre plot on Guadalcanal that would reveal what happened to the Goettge Patrol, a 22-man unit ambushed by the Japanese with wounded Marines reportedly being butchered. Their bodies were never recovered.
It is believed the Japanese troops threw the Americans in trenches, along with some of their own dead. But various attempts over the past 20 years failed to locate the U.S. patrol's remains -- a mystery the Radford team will try to solve.
"It's not a good subject matter, what we are looking for," said Radford senior Sarah Clark. "But if we could actually find them, that would be an amazing thing for the families."