U.S. Marine Cpl. William R. Ragsdale, killed in WWII, disinterred from Manila American Cemetery for burial in home state of Tennessee

ARLINGTON, Va. (July 19, 2022) — The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) announces U.S. Marine Cpl. William R. Ragsdale, who was killed in World War II, has been accounted for nearly 80 years after his death.

Photograph of U.S. Marine Cpl. William R. Ragsdale

His remains, previously interred as an unknown at ABMC’s Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines, are now set for burial in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 6, 2022.

Ragsdale was reported as wounded in action and evacuated from the island of Saipan on June 28, 1944. His status changed to missing in action and he was later declared deceased after he was unable to be located following the intense combat. He was declared non-recoverable in September of 1949.

Unidentified remains recovered from Saipan following the war, listed as “Unknown X-6 27th Infantry Division Cemetery” and buried at the Manila American Cemetery, were disinterred in January of 2020 and sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) laboratory in Hawaii for analysis.

Ragsdale was officially accounted for on April 15, 2022.

A native of Nashville, Ragsdale was 23 at the time of his death. He was part of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, which took part in the Battle of Saipan in a larger effort to capture the Mariana Islands from Japan. 

Ragsdale’s name is inscribed in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, along with more than 18,000 others who are still missing from World War II. ABMC has placed a bronze rosette beside his name, indicating he has now been accounted for.


For more information on Ragsdale, visit the DPAA website.

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