Remains of World War II POW identified, funeral set for Saturday

Julia LeDoux
October 02, 2019 - 11:20 am
Walter Kellett

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

The remains of an airman who died while in a Japanese POW camp during World War II have been identified.

Army Air Forces Cpl. Walter Kellett, 22, died July 19, 1942 while a prisoner at the Cabanatuan POW camp, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Kellett was a member of the 17th Pursuit Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands and was among the thousands of American and Filipino service members who were captured during the fighting, which ended on May 6, 1942, the DPAA release says.

According to the prison camp and other historical records, after his death, Kellett was buried in the Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery, in grave number 312.

Kellett’s body was recovered after the war and taken to Manila American Cemetery, where his remains were buried as “unknown.” The DPAA identified Kellett’s remains in July, using dental and anthropological analysis, circumstantial and material evidence and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

There are currently more than 72,657 American servicemen unaccounted for from World War II, according to the DPAA.

Kellett will be buried in his home town of Ironwood, Michigan on Saturday.

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Reach Julia LeDoux: Julia@connectingvets.com

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