Tulsa WWII Marine to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Related story: Finding Dub
The remains of a World War II Marine from Tulsa that were recovered after more than 60 years on a South Pacific island will be interred Thursday in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va.
As previously reported, a portion of the remains of Second Lt. Walter “Dub” Vincent, who was declared missing during the war, were returned to Tulsa in May, and buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in a special family ceremony.
The burial at Arlington is set for 1 p.m.
Vincent, 21, was navigator-bombardier on a B-25 bomber that went down on April 22, 1944. He and six crew members were eventually declared dead.
Vincent’s remains will be buried at Arlington, with full military honors, in a common casket with those of his fellow crew members.
“We just wanted to go over and raise a little interest. We never could have anticipated how well things have turned out,” said Vincent’s nephew, Craig Anderson of Dallas, who led a 2007 expedition to the crash site in the South Pacific.
Vincent’s family’s effort to show that the crash site, in the remote island archipelago of Vanuatu, was accessible helped expedite the recovery.
The remains of the men, recovered by military specialists over three excavation missions, were identified through DNA testing.
Since their trip, Anderson and family members have attended reunions of Vincent’s Marine Bomber Squadron 423, known as the Seahorse Marines. They got to know family members and former buddies of the lost crewmen, many of whom will be attending the ceremony Thursday, Anderson said.
The Seahorse Marines, in fact, are holding their annual reunion at Arlington in conjunction with the event.
“To have met all these people, it’s very gratifying,” Anderson said. “It gives us a real sense of appreciation for what these guys went through and what they gave.”
Born in 1922 in Bartlesville, Vincent moved to Tulsa at age 9, and attended Rogers High School. Later, with the U.S. entry into the war, he joined the Marines.
The other crewmen, to be buried as a group with Vincent, include: Laverne Lallathin of Raymond, Wash., who was originally from Ada; Dwight Ekstam, Port Byron, Ill.; John Donovan, Plymouth, Mich.; Wayne Erickson, Minneapolis, Minn.; John Yeager, New Kensington, Penn.; and James Sisney, Redwood, Calif.
Lt. Walter "Dub" Vincent. His B-25 bomber went down on April 22, 1944. Vincent was the plane's navigator-bombardier. His family discovered the downed plane on the remote South Pacific island of Vanuatu and his remains were brought back to Tulsa in 2012 and buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.