Edward Glenn Walker exhibit - casket

The centerpiece of the new Capt. Edward Glenn Walker exhibit at the Wilson County Veterans Museum in Lebanon is the casket that held the formerly misidentified body of Walker for more than seven decades. Walker’s family described the inside of the casket as “pristine” despite the decades of aging.

A new exhibit honoring the life and detailing the post-death ordeal of Marine Capt. Edward Glenn Walker Jr. is now open at the Wilson County Veterans Museum on E. Main Street in Lebanon.

The exhibit features the original casket that held the formerly misidentified body of Walker, letters from Walker to his mother and family, testimonials from other Marines about Walker, replicas of his service medals and information about Walker’s upbringing in Lebanon.

Walker, then 26, was killed on Nov. 20, 1943, when he led his company in the Battle of Tarawa, the first World War II amphibious American offensive in the central Pacific region.

Walker was misidentified following his death and buried twice on Betio Island and then in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

A Marine killed on Betio Island in the same battle was mistakenly identified as Walker and was buried in the family plot at Wilson County Memorial Gardens in 1947.

Due to the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Walker was properly identified in 2019 and was returned home and buried in Lebanon in July of this year with full military honors.

The exhibit will be on display for two months.