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Unidentified GIs Who Died in the Philippines Returned to Hawaii

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Unidentified GI’s remains of some U.S. military personnel who died during World War II. They were put into the ground and were unknown in the Philippines. Now they have been returning to Hawaii to try to determine their identities.

Unidentified GI’s Honorable Carry Ceremony

In fact, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency recently oversaw an “honorable carry” ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. This was for about 40 sets of unidentified remains.

Large Disinterment Projects

Therefore, the repatriation from the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is one of the agency’s large disinterment projects. As a result, the remains went through at a lab at Hickam. This is for possible identification by forensic anthropologists and others.

An annual budget of $169 million and hundreds of personnel in Hawaii, this agency does investigations, recovers and identifies missing Americans from past wars.

Unidentified GIs from Various Wars

One hundred and 20 identifications by the agency. This was in the fiscal year ending in September. There are 82 from WWII, 36 from the Korean War, and two from the Vietnam War. In fact, the agency documented 218 identifications in 2019. This is the highest yearly total.

Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members sent to a prisoner of war camps during WWII.

20 Graves of Unidentified Prisoners

A team of eight Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency personnel spent 13 days at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial disinterring 20 graves of unidentified prisoners of war killed in the Cabanatuan POW Camp on March 2018.

55 exhumations were conducting at the Manila Cemetary between November 2019 and January 2020. In fact, some of the headstones read, “Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms known but to God.”

The Army granted permission to exhume six graves at Manila American Cemetery in 2016. This resulted later three years later in the identification of Army Sergeant Cread Shuey of Norton, Kansas, who died in September 1942.

Identify the Service Members

Others and Shuey were reburied many times. This was amid efforts to identify the service members. The commingling of remains and limited identification technology hindered the efforts. In fact, Shuey’s identity came out in 2019. Dental, anthropological, and mitochondrial DNA analysis was used to determine that.

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