Bernard Gavrin

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Bernard Gavrin
Bernard Gavrin taken during his army enlistment.jpg
Bernard Gavrin taken during his army enlistment
Bornc. 1915
DiedJuly 7, 1944(1944-07-07) (aged 29)
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1940–1944
RankPrivate First Class
Unit105th infantry regiment, 27th infantry division
Battles/warsWorld War II
Battle of Saipan
AwardsBronze Star
Purple Heart
Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service Medal[1]

Bernard Gavrin (c. 1915 – c. July 9, 1944) was a US Army Private during World War II. He took part in the Battle of Saipan and went missing in action sometime between June 15 and July 9, 1944. No one in his family knew what had happened to him until the Japanese nonprofit Kuentai Group found his remains while recovering remains of Japanese soldiers who died during World War II. His only living relative who knew him was subsequently found and genetic testing revealed that the remains were those of Bernard Gavrin, 70 years after his death. On September 12, 2014, he was finally buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Gavrin lived in Brooklyn in New York City when he enlisted in the army in 1940.[2] He never married nor had children, but he had a nephew, David Rogers. In 1944, he was in the 105th Infantry Regiment, which formed part of the American invasion force which had landed on Saipan. Sometime between June 15 to July 9, 1944, during which his regiment suffered heavy losses during the Battle of Saipan, he went missing in action.[1] On July 7, 1944, Gavrin was declared missing in action and presumed dead. Gavrin's nephew, David Rogers (12 years old at the time[3]) was present when Gavrin's mother received a telegram notifying her of Gavrin's death. Rogers reported that "She let out a terrifying scream that I can still hear to this day".[4] His remains were declared unrecoverable by the army in 1948.[5] In 1950, his name was placed on the Brooklyn War Memorial.[6]


In 2006, the Japanese nonprofit Kuentai Group began recovering the remains of Japanese soldiers from World War II in the Philippines. The group subsequently expanded their search to include Saipan and discovered mass graves while searching in fields. Among the remains of many Japanese soldiers, they found three dog tags belonging to American soldiers—the other soldiers were identified as Army Pvt. William Yawney and Army Pfc. Richard L. Bean.[7] On one dog tag, Bernard Gavrin's name was engraved along with his father's name "Max" as last of kin, and his home address. The Kuentai Group subsequently contacted the Bull Run Regional Library in Virginia with the aim of finding surviving relatives. Tish Como, who worked at the library, used public records in the library to find Bernard's nieces Marilyn Goldman and Beverly Newborn. They contacted David Rogers, Gavrin's nephew.[1]

The remains of the American soldiers that the Kuentai Group found were turned over to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command for DNA testing. Using genetic samples provided by David Rogers, Bernard Gavrin's remains were identified 70 years after his death.[4]


On September 12, 2014, Army Pfc. Bernard Gavrin was buried in Arlington National Cemetery 70 years after his death.[8] The Governor of New York ordered all flags on state buildings in New York be lowered to half-staff on Monday September 15, 2014. He was 29 years old when he died and he was buried with full military honors.[8]

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  1. ^ a b c Gottesman, Marisa (19 April 2014). "Dog tags may solve a 70-year-old mystery for West Delray man". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  2. ^ Hait, Ari (18 July 2014). "Remains of soldier missing in action found 70 years later". WPBF. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  3. ^ Gottesman, Marisa (27 August 2014). "Fallen World War II soldier finally heads home". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b Schultz, Marisa (4 September 2014). "Brooklyn soldier laid to rest 70 years after final battle". New York Post. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  5. ^ Hajela, Deepti (4 September 2014). "Brooklyn soldier missing since WWII identified". Brooklyn Eagle. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Additional Heroes' Names for Brooklyn War Memorial". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 13 December 1950. p. 14. Retrieved September 5, 2014 – via open access
  7. ^ Bagnol, Raquel C. (7 September 2013). "Kuentai-USA can't attend Sept. 12 burial of US soldier whose remains they recovered in Achugao". Marianas Variety. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  8. ^ a b Lovett, Kenneth (12 September 2014). "Brooklyn soldier killed during World War II laid to rest 70 years later". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.

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