Archive for March 7th, 2014

ProPublica and NPR find massive government failures in identifying missing soldiers

March 7, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 7, 2014

On Thursday, the web-based journalism organization ProPublica and National Public Radio began publishing a joint investigation into Pentagon efforts to identify and repatriate the remains of missing American soldiers.

The first story focused on Arthur “Bud” Kelder. After the U.S. Army private died at a prison camp in the Philippines in November 1942, the Japanese threw his body into a mass grave along with those of 13 other men. To date, only 10 of the corpses from grave No. 717 have been officially identified — one by his identification tags, three by their dental records.

A few years ago, Kelder’s family found proof that their late relative had gold dental inlays. Records for the unnamed men from grave 717 show that only one of the bodies had gold inlays. Yet military officials have refused to disinter the relevant remains for DNA tests, even though this appears to be a logical and obvious next step in attempting to identify the body.

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