DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — A Dothan native and World War 2 veteran asked for remains to be brought back to the Dothan and now they have.

Earl Tatum was born on April 3rd, 1924 in Dothan, Alabama, and instead of finishing up his high school education. Tatum lied about his age and joined the Marines, at just the age of 16.

Earl Tatum

“Went off and fought in Guadalcanal and in the isle of Tarawa,” Earl Tatum’s nephew, Danny Corley said. “On the Isle of Tarawa Uncle Earl would tell me even last year stories of the bloodiest conflict of WWII where more in that 72 hours of battle was lost. Uncle Earl at age 17 or 18 saw a half of his unit killed.”

Tatum passed away in October of last year and he asked his remains be brought back to Dothan so he would be buried with his family in heart of the Circle City, the Dothan City Cemetery.

Earl Tatum

According to Corley, Tatum was a very successful businessman in Richmond, Virginia, however, never forgot home and always kept his Alabama roots alive.

“Now until he graduated from Dothan High after World War 2 and from the University of Alabama and he always sang the “Roll tide” fight song every touchdown,” Corley said.

Just a few weeks ago, his wish to be laid to rest here in the Wiregrass was granted just in time for the Memorial Day holiday.

“One of the things he said was he told his unit to grab a rope and tie it on a body because as marines we don’t leave a man behind,” Corley said. “That’s why this Memorial Day is so special for us.”

Earl Tatum’s remains now sit in the William’s plot at the city cemetery, and his nephew said it best.

“We just acknowledge today, that a Dothan boy has come home,” Corley said.

Corley adds that Tatum was a trumpet player and that occasionally you would hear him play ‘taps’ even when he used to get in trouble in church for playing the trumpet.