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ARVIN, Calif. (AP) — A Marine killed in a Pacific battle during World War II has been buried in his home state of California 74 years later.

The recently identified remains of 21-year-old Sgt. William D. Ball were interred Monday at Bakersfield National Cemetery.

Nephew James Stevens Jr. tells The Bakersfield Californian that Ball’s return has brought closure to the family.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says Ball was part of a force that encountered stiff Japanese resistance on the island of Betio in the Tarawa atoll.

Approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded over several days.

Ball was wounded on the first day, Nov. 20, 1943, and was declared missing in action the next day.

Analysis identified his remains from among unknown Tarawa casualties interred in Hawaii.