Celje      When the news of Manley’s death was reported in Indianapolis newspapers it was before the media was allowed to report on the devastating loss of life during what became the “Island Hopping” campaign in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Manley Winkley, killed on Tarawa in 1943, buried in Madison, Indiana in 2013

Shakhty Manley Winkley, killed on Tarawa in 1943, buried in Madison, Indiana in 2013

buy Lyrica australia      PFC Winkley was a member of the 2nd Marine Division. Along with the 27th Army InfantryDivision and the largest naval support up to that date, the invasion began on November 20, 1943 at the Gilbert Island atoll of Tarawa. The naval support consisted of 17 aircraft carriers (6 CVs, 5 CVLs, 6 CVEs), 12 battleships, 8 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, 66 destroyers, and 36 transport ships. All told there was a 35,000 man invasion force spearheaded by the USMC. Manley was reported KIA on the first day. There were over 6,400 deaths during the four:day battle including over 1,000 Marines and virtually all of the Japanese troops.

     The 4,500 Japanese defenders were encouraged by their Commander Shibazaki, a naval officer, when he stated, “it will take a million men 100 years” to conquer Tarawa. It took the American military four days (76 hours) to secure Betio on Tarawa atoll.

     Some newspaper accounts of the day-suggested that Tarawa was an unnecessary invasion comparing it to Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg during the American Civil War. But Admiral Nimitz later confirmed the importance of the airfield and supply base at Tarawa, which enhanced the Island Hopping strategy.

     Manley Winkley was killed later in 1943 (November) as the June 1943 Washington High yearbook was 

dedicated to those, at the time, known killed during World War II. We lost a total of 95 during World War II and at least 15 during the Vietnam War as well as an unknown number during the Korean War.

     The 1943 or 44 news account noted that “His last letter home was written on October 16, 1943” and that “Manley had grown up in Salem Park at 40 N. Berwick.  Salem Park is the area north behind what later became Dr. McMannis’ office at the northeast quadrant of Eagle Creek where Washington Street and Rockville Road separate.  It continued that, “Manley, age 20, was a Washington football player and track man as well as serving as a cadent in his school’s ROTC.”

     In The Indianapolis Star of August 4, 2013 PFC Winkley’s obituary stated that his body was returned to the United Staes in April of 2013,, almost 70 years after his initial burial on Tarawa.  On August 24, Manley’s body was finally laid to rest in Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison, Indiana.  His family had been under the impression that his body was in a Hawaiian cemetery.  But, his great nephew William Winkley, 55-years-old of Avon, Indiana visited Hawaii in 2012 and found no gravesite.  Shortly after returning home from his trip, William received a stunning call reporting that Manley’s body had been identified on the island of Betio in today’s Republic of Kiribati in the Pacific.

Faro “Our school had 97 boys killed in action or in training accidents during World War II, 1941-1945.”