Two U.S. soldiers who died in Cabanatuan POW camp finally identified
The remains of two American soldiers who survived the notorious Bataan March in the Philippines during World War II but later died in a Japanese POW camp have been identified, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said in a statement.
The remains of Army Air Forces Pvt. Joseph E. Lescaut, of Cambridge, Massachusetts and those of Army Pfc. Arthur L. Pierce, of Malden, were accounted for in August and July, respectively using mitochondrial DNA analysis as well as dental and anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.
Lescaut, a member of the 16th Bombardment Squadron, 27th Bombardment Group. Pierce was a member of the 803rd Engineer Battalion involved in fighting on the Bataan peninsula in 1942. Both were reported captured when U.S. forces on the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines surrendered to the Japanese in 1942.
Thousands of U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war were force marched 65-mile (105-kilometer) and many were held at the Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija POW camp, where more than 2,500 POWs perished.
Lescaut died July 26, 1942. Pierce died of disease on July 19, 1942. Both were buried with other prisoners in Common Grave 225 of the Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery. The remains were disinterred in 2018 and sent to Hawaii for further analysis.