BOUGAINVILLE – (Delayed) – Marine Raiders killed in the initial fighting in the Bougainville invasion were buried with military ceremonies before the first day of struggle was over.
First men buried on Puruata Island, just off the Bougainville mainland captured by the Marine Raiders, were Pfc. George A. Hudson Jr., of Nashville, Tenn., and Pvts. Alfred [Tsosie] of Shiprock, N.M., and Arnold C. Buettgen of Chicago.
The New Mexico Devildog was the first Marine killed [November 1, 1943] on tiny Puruata Island.
Ceremonies were conducted about 3 in the afternoon by Lieut. (JG) Robert J. Cronin, U.S. Naval chaplain, who used to be assistant pastor of the cathedral in Albany, N.Y.
While the services were in progress, renewed fighting broke out not more than 100 yards from the graves. An alert was on and it was raining, but Father Cronin finished the last rites and the bodies were buried quickly.
The Puruata graveyard now has been landscaped and all the graves are marked by white crosses carrying names and identification tags of the deceased.