Fallen Hero Returns Home to Bakersfield

Fallen Hero Returns Home to Bakersfield To be Buried Next to His Mother at The Historic Union Cemetery and Crematory

Joseph R Livermore age 21. He was the son of Dorothy Livermore was a United State Marine Corps. In 1943 survived by his mother who received the telegram from Western Union on December 23, 1943, that stated:


“DEEPLY REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE JOSEPH R LIVERMORE USMC WAS KILLED IN ACTION IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY AND IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY. TO PREVENT POSSIBLE AID TO OUR ENEMIES PLEASE DO NOT DIVULGE THE NAME OF HIS SHIP OR STATION. PRESENT SITUATION NECESSITATES INTERMENT TEMPORARILY IN THE LOCALITY WHERE DEATH OCCURRED AND YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED ACCORDINGLY. PLEASE ACCEPT MY HEARTFELT SYMPATHY. LETTER FOLLOWS=

T HOLCOMB GENERAL USMC THE COMMANDANT U S MARINE CORP.”


United States Marine Corps Private First Class Joseph Robert Livermore has returned home to Bakersfield and will be laid to rest next to his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Livermore at Union Cemetery on Friday, November 15th. A graduate of East Bakersfield High School, Private Livermore answered the call of duty and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps three days following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Killed in combat at the Battle of Tarawa in World War II on November 22, 1943, the 21-year-old Marine had been listed missing in action for 76 years until the discovery of a mass grave this past March. Following that discovery, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) positively identified remains as those belonging to Private Livermore. With assistance from the military, his remains have returned to California and to Bakersfield where he will be buried. In the obituary of the Bakersfield Californian in 1943 stated: Private Livermore is survived by his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Livermore of 811 East Eighteenth street; a sister, Mrs. Evelyn Feliz of Bakersfield; three aunts, Mrs. Frances Austin and Mrs. Victor DeGroat of Bakersfield and Carmen Schaffer of Sau Pedro; and an uncle, J. E. Livermore of Bakersfield. He was the son of the late Joseph L. Livermore. Private Livermore, a graduate of East Bakersfield High School where he starred in football, enlisted in the marine corps on December 8, 1941.

In the present time Private Livermore is survived by his nephew Darrel Felix and his family.

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Eulogy for Darrel Felix

Good morning Distinguished Guests and Friends,

My name is Darrel Felix, the proud nephew of United States Marine Corps Private First Class Joseph Robert Livermore.

Today is a bittersweet day, but our family has closure. Private Livermore, who went by the nickname “Bob”, finally returned home to Bakersfield. Sadly, Bob never got the opportunity to live his life which many of us take for granted – he did not get a chance to fall in love, get married, or start a family. Duty called to him to serve his country first.

I am so thankful to the Bakersfield community for helping our family give my uncle, a hero’s homecoming and a proper memorial service. I am grateful for the support of Senator Shannon Grove and her staff who have been integral in spearheading the efforts to reunite us with Bob.

For 76 years, Bob’s body was buried in a mass grave and our family was left wondering and waiting. Now, that wait is over.


A graduate of East Bakersfield High School, Bob was a star basketball player. Three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bob knew he had a duty to his country. He proudly enlisted to serve in the United States Marines Corps.

But his young life was cut tragically short when he was killed in action at the Battle of Tarawa on November 22, 1943. He remained missing for all these years until we got a call this summer from the military.

Since then, we have been waiting for this day for him to return home to Bakersfield. Today, we pay our final respects to Bob before he is buried next to his mother, Dorothy. Unfortunately, she died in 1996 and never knew the story of her brave son. However, I am comforted known that they will be buried side by side.

Once again, thank you to the community for your support. Thank you to the elected officials and their representatives, to Union Cemetery, the Patriot Riders, the California Highway Patrol and the Bakersfield Police Department for your assistance. And a special thank you to Senator Grove for her leadership and the joint Senate Resolution signed by all four elected officials who represent parts of Bakersfield and Kern County. Rest in Peace Bob.




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