New Book Details Martha Berry's nephew’s heroic role in WWII

Release Date: October 10, 2018

Berry College will host author Clay Bonnyman Evans for a guest lecture and signing of his book, “Bones of My Grandfather: Reclaiming a Lost Hero of World War II” at 6 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 11) at the Christopher Browning Pavilion at Oak Hill.   

U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., nephew of Martha Berry, was posthumously awarded a medal of honor for his heroic actions in holding back Japanese forces in the Battle of Tarawa. About 1,100 Americans, including Bonnyman, and 5,000 Japanese were killed in this battle and only a fraction of the bodies have been recovered.  

As the only living grandson of Bonnyman, Evans traveled to Tarawa to recover the remains of his grandfather. He was accompanied by a team of archaeologists from History Flight, a nonprofit organization dedicated to locating and recovering the remains of U.S. marines.  

Bonnyman was brought home and buried in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sept. 27, 2015, with full military honors. After returning from his adventures, Evans set out to write a book detailing his grandfather’s life and legacy as well as his own adventures in bringing him home. In his book, “Bones of My Grandfather: Reclaiming a Lost Hero of World War II,” Evans writes about the impact of this battle in World War II, Bonnyman’s role in the battle and the challenge of recovering his body along with over 120 other marines who died in that battle.  

“Alexander Bonnyman Jr. is a member of the Berry family,” said Assistant Vice President of Campaign and Leadership Giving Scott Breithaupt. “We have long believed that all Berry family members are part of the broader Berry College family.  With that in mind, the story of Alexander Bonnyman Jr. and his remains being brought back home, are important to all Berry constituents.”  

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Written by Public Relations Student Jessica Hayhurst