Bringing Louie home: the boy, the battle & the waiting

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Louie Faria’s family immigrated from the Azore Islands and called Sacramento home. Faria graduated from McClatchy High School in 1940 and became a machine gunner for the U.S. Marine Corps soon after. He lost his life in 1943 during the Battle of Tarawa and his remains have been lost to history ever since.

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One of PFC Faria’s best friends in the war was Cpl. Andy “Cisco” Garcia from San Francisco. FOX40 found one of his granddaughters, Melissa Farrera, who lives in Sacramento. We shared with Melissa the letter her grandfather wrote to the Faria family not long after Louie’s death. Here, she reads it for the first time:

Sgt. Andy “Cisco” Garcia fought and lived through two of the deadliest battles of World War II, the Battle of Tarawa and Iwo Jima. After his service, Cisco worked and lived in San Francisco until his death in 2016. He was 95 years old. His granddaughter says he enjoyed jazz music, wine and spending time with his family.

Documents obtained by FOX40 show a government case file for PFC Louis Faria. These records include letters from his mother, Maria, to Washington, D.C., petitioning for the remains of her son to be sent home to Sacramento, responses from the U.S. Marine Corps, Louie’s military and dental records, among others.

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The Chief Rick Stone & Family Charitable Foundation is the professional and philanthropic work of retired police chief Rick Stone, a native Texan. The foundation continues research and investigations into missing servicemen from World War II and provides the information discovered as a result of that research to family members of missing servicemen and women free of charge. In 2011, Stone was appointed to the Intelligence Directorate at the United States Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Demand (JPAC) in Honolulu, Hawaii. At JPAC, Stone served as the Deputy Chief of the World War II Research and Investigation Branch and was the primary investigator assigned to the cases of American servicemen listed as MIA or “Unresolved” from the Battle of Tarawa.

(All photos courtesy Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation)

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Video from the Battle of Tarawa courtesy of the U.S. National Archives.

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