Government scientists have identified the remains of an Army Air Forces corporal captured during fighting in the World War II Pacific Theater and forced on the Bataan Death March.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced on Feb. 6 that Cpl. Charles W. Eeds, 23, of Durant, Oklahoma, was accounted for on Oct. 25, 2022, according to an agency release.
Eeds was a member of the 48th Materiel Squadron, in the Philippines, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941. He was taken following the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942.
Eeds was among the thousands taken prisoner reported. Those captured were subjected to the 65-mile Bataan Death March and then held at the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs died in the camp during the war.
Eeds died July 19, 1942, according to camp and other historical records. He was buried along with other deceased prisoners in the local Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in Common Grave 312.
Following the war, American Graves Registration Service personnel exhumed those buried at the Cabanatuan cemetery and relocated the remains to a temporary U.S. military mausoleum near Manila. In 1947, the graves service examined the remains in an attempt to identify them.
A dozen sets of remains from Common Grave 312 were identified, but the remaining sets were declared unidentifiable, according to the release. The unidentified remains were buried at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial as unknowns.
In January 2018, Common Grave 312 remains were disinterred and sent to the accounting agency laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.
To identify the corporal’s remains, scientists from the agency used anthropological and dental analysis as well as circumstantial evidence. Armed Forces Medical Examiner System scientists also used mitochondrial DNA and dental analysis to confirm identity.
Eeds will be buried on May 19, 2023, in Norman, Oklahoma.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the agency’s website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.