HOBART, Okla. – Funeral services were held today for a WWII Veteran killed in action over 70 years ago.
Corporal Claire Goldtrap was laid to rest Wednesday in his home town Hobart. The 21-year-old Marine was killed in the Pacific during the Battle of Tarawa.
His remains were recently identified at a National Cemetery in Hawaii and returned to Oklahoma.
A solemn but content day for the family as they lay to rest an American hero.
“He’s here , it’s a closure, I think it’s great,” said Nancy Price, Goldtrap’s first cousin twice removed.
Friends, family, fellow marines and military on hand as the remains of Corporal Claire Goldtrap were laid to rest.
“I’ve done a lot of WWII funerals, but I have never done one that was actually killed in WWII, so that again is a unique piece that I will always cherish,” said Lt. Nathan Boon, Chaplain.
Goldtrap was just 21 when the amphibious tractor he was driving during a beach landing was hit and destroyed. The Corporal was one of more than 1000 Americans killed and 2000 wounded during the battle of Tarawa in 1943.
“This was a man that saw battle and went straight into it and didn’t even hesitate because that is what Marines do,” said Boon.
In 1946, Goldtrap was buried at the National Cemetery in Hawaii, but in 2016 the military, trying to identify the fallen, reached out to Goldtrap’s family.
“They contacted me to see if someone in my family would do the DNA because we are the female line,” said Price. “I felt very proud because when he was killed Aunt Blanche was really torn up. She really didn’t get over it so I was glad that we could do this.”
A fellow WWII vet was proud to make the drive south from Elk City to be there.
“I come here to honor a buddy – he is a buddy because he served the same time I did in fact we were nearly the same age. Of us WWII veterans, there are 800,000 left out of 16 million, that’s about 5%. They are going pretty fast,” said First Class Petty Officer Joe Britton.
Goldtrap not the only WWII vet buried at the Hobart cemetery, less than 50 yards away a member of the Doolittle Raiders.
Today would have been Corporal Claire Goldtrap’s 97th birthday.