A Redwood City soldier who died during World War II and who had been missing for 63 years will finally get a proper burial Friday when a service is held in his honor at .
According to the San Mateo County Times, James Austin Sisney, who joined the military when he was 17, was among a group of Marines who died on April 22, 1944, after their plane crashed on Espiritu Santo, the largest island in the nation of Vanuatu, during a night training mission. Sisney was 19 when he was killed in the crash.
During World War II, the island was used by Allied forces as a military supply and support base, naval harbor, and airfield. More than two million soldiers passed through the area, with as many as 100,000 at any given time.
The SS President Coolidge, a converted luxury liner which embarked from San Francisco, hit a mine, placed there by the U.S., during the war and rests off the coast.
Espiritu Santo is 440 miles due north of New Caledonia. The largest city on the island, Luganville, rests on the former American air base.
The crash site was discovered in 2007 by a relative of 2nd Lt. Walter B. Vincent Jr., who also perished in the accident.
Sisney graduated from Sequoia High School in 1942 and joined the military soon after.
His headstone is already in place, given to the family when he was reported missing in action and presumed dead.
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