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WWII vet laid to rest in Hobart after 75 years

HOBART — Cpl. Claire Goldtrap is finally home — more than 75 years after his death.

Under a clouded Oklahoma sky, hundreds of men and women, soldiers and civilians, adults and children gathered Wednesday at Rose Cemetery to finally put to rest a Marine — long presumed lost — who died fighting in November 1943 on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands. Wednesday’s service was a homecoming 75 years in the making and finally gave his family an opportunity for closure.

“I haven’t been calling this a funeral, because it was really a celebration,” said Jo Lynn Anderson, great-niece to Goldtrap. “It’s been so emotional, but we’re glad he’s back home.”

Goldtrap, or “Goldy” as many called him, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1940 alongside friend John Moore. Europe was already under siege by Nazi Germany and the Pacific was being conquered by the Japanese empire. It was only a matter of time until the United States would join World War II. Goldtrap knew this and enlisted anyway. It was a faithful decision that Goldtrap understood might lead to his death. That didn’t matter, said Chaplain Nathan Boon, who officiated the ceremonies.

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