MADISON – Today, at approximately 1 p.m., two U.S. Marines Veterans will be laid to rest with military honors at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 1415 North Gate Rd, Madison, IN.
The funeral procession will leave Bond Mitchell Funeral Home at approximately 11 a.m. traveling from the funeral home south on State Road 135 to State Road 46, east on State Road 46 into Columbus, South on State Road 7 (State Street) from Columbus through North Vernon to Madison where the procession will arrive at the cemetery.
The Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder and Indiana State Police, along with local public safety agencies will be involved in the escort. The public and media are encouraged to show their support for the two Marine heroes by lining the streets and roadways along the route of travel. Hoosiers can also go to the Bond Mitchell Funeral Home web site and sign the guest book of PFC Manley F. Winkley.
U.S. Forces were ordered to secure the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Island chain in late 1943. During the battle of Tarawa approximately 1000 Marines were killed. PFC Manley F. Winkley was among those killed in action. US Casualties were buried in a number of expedient battlefield cemeteries around the atoll. In 1946 US Army Graves Registration Service personnel attempted to locate and exhume all of the battlefield interments, however, because of the construction activities many burials were never located. PFC Winkley was among the men that were not recovered. On Oct. 29 thru Nov. 8, 2012, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting command team excavating in what is now the Republic of Kiribati, found human remains of at least three individuals on the Tarawa island of Betio.
The remains were transported to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Central Identification laboratory, Hawaii, where on Apr 2 2013, PFC Manley F. Winkley was positively identified. Manley F. Winkley was born in Indianapolis Sept. 17, 1923 and enlisted into the US Marine Corps in Indianapolis Dec. 12, 1942. He was assigned to Company B 1 St. Battalion Second Marine Division during WW II and was killed in action on Nov. 20, 1943 at the age of 20.