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Nininger and Six Other MIA Families Sue US Govt (Read 2534 times)
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Nininger and Six Other MIA Families Sue US Govt
May 26th, 2017, 7:53pm
Families of Seven Missing U.S. Servicemen File Suit Against U.S. Government

San Antonio, TX – May 26, 2017 - The families of seven soldiers missing from World War II have filed suit in U.S. District Court in San Antonio demanding that the U.S. Government return the remains of their missing family members.

Thousands of American Servicemen remain missing from the Battle of Bataan and the Bataan Death March Seventy-Five years ago. Some were killed by the enemy and some died of disease and malnutrition while prisoners in brutal camps. Their families never knew where or how they died and never received the closure that comes with burial of loved ones. Recently released documents show that the U.S. Government negligently failed to identify the remains of thousands of missing servicemen and buried them as Unknowns in the Manila American Cemetery to avoid responsibility.

Among the missing was 1LT Alexander R. "Sandy" Nininger who was awarded the first Medal of Honor of WWII. Five times Army Graves Registration recommended identification of his remains, and five times Washington disapproved because the incorrectly calculated height of the remains didn't match his known height.  The remains of Lt Nininger are buried in Grave number J-7-20.

The remains of Colonel Loren P. Stewart, commander of the 51st Infantry Regiment, were not identified because investigators misspelled his name as STUART and couldn't find his dental records. The remains of COL Stewart are buried in Grave number N-15-19.

Brigadier General Guy O. Fort commanded the 81st Infantry Division until he was captured and executed by the enemy in retaliation for his guerrilla activities. His execution was witnessed by the Provincial Governor who was also a prisoner. After the war, Governor Cruz recovered the remains and presented them to the Army with a sworn statement that they were the general's remains. In this statement he said that when the enemy bayoneted the general, he heard him shout, "You may get me but you will never get the United States of America."  The remains of General Fort are buried in Grave number L-8-113.

Also joining the suit demanding the return of their loved ones are the families of PFC Lloyd Bruntmyer, Private Robert R. Morgan, PFC David Hansen, and Private Arthur H. "Bud" Kelder, all of whom died of disease and starvation in the infamous Cabanatuan POW Camp. Kelder was the subject of prior litigation in which the government agreed to return his remains to his family, but ultimately handed over only three bones. Investigation revealed that the Government's highly touted DNA identification laboratory has neither the capacity nor the capability of identifying more than a small handful of remains each year.

Link to complaint filed in U.S. District Court

Link to Press release
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« Last Edit: Mar 10th, 2018, 4:14pm by JohnEakin »  
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Re: Nininger and Six Other MIA Families Sue US Govt
Reply #1 - Mar 10th, 2018, 4:45pm
After ten months of attempting to get the lawsuit thrown out, the US Government has finally filed an answer to the complaint demanding the return of the remains of seven missing servicemembers.  While continuing to object to the disinterment of what are obviously the remains of LT Alexander Nininger, BG Guy Fort and COL Loren Stewart, they have conceded that the remains of the three Cabanatuan POW's can likely be identified.

Because the remains were badly commingled by the untrained contract embalmers employed by Army Graves Registration, the remains of all the men buried in each communal grave must be disinterred, identified and properly reassociated.

In their latest filing, the government informed the court that they have recommended disinterment of all the remains from Cabanatuan Grave 822 and their recommendation is currently pending before the Secretary of the Army.  

They further stated that they have not yet completed their review of Grave 704 and that they will not recommend disinterment of those buried in Grave 407 because they have not yet obtained sufficient DNA reference samples.  This is far from the last word and, considering that several years ago they were ordered to disinter the fourteen men buried in Grave 717 (the Kelder case) and have now conceded Grave 822, it is very likely that they will also recover everyone from these other graves as well as the remains of Nininger, Fort and Stewart.

The below excerpts were taken from the Cabanatuan burial roster.  If you know of any of these other families, please ask them to contact me at bataanmissing at gmail for more information.

Its time the government worked as hard at returning these men to their families as they do to fighting the families in court.

Name, Rank, Unit, Next of Kin or Home of Record

Cabanatuan Grave 822
WALKER JAMES M      Corp      31 Inf      Tim B. Walker; Pawnee, Okla
WOOD ALLEN W      Pfc      194 Tank      Mrs Mabel Wood; Paynesville, Minn
MORGAN ROBERT R      Pvt      7 Mat      Mrs W.M. Morgan; 3519 W. Houston St., San Antonio, Texas
PRUITT BLANCHARD E      Pvt      31 Inf      Mrs J.L. Pruitt; Florien, La
SCHOPP ERWIN H      Pvt      59 CAC      Mrs Mary Schopp; Plymouth, Nebr

Cabanatuan Grave 704
BLAHO PAUL      Corp      409 SC      Mrs Julia Bloho; Westmerland City Pa
WINTERS CHARLES B      Pfc      808 MP      Mrs Guy Zemo; 900 Market St., Wheeling, W. Va
CALKINS WILLIAM E      Pvt      QMC      Joseph E. Calkins; Corneleus, Ore
BRUNTMYER LLOYD R      Pfc      7 Mat      Harry L. Bruntmeyer; 2341 Des Moines St., Des Moines, Iowa
ERWIN KENNETH G      Corp      59 CAC      Mrs Opal G. Erwin; 413 S. Elm., Ponca City, Okla
OHARA THOMAS W      Pvt      680 Ord      Michael O'Hara; 725, 130 St., College Point, N.Y.
CLARK WALTER L      Corp      QMC      Mr Webb Clark; c/0 T.A. Chase; Willite, Calif
DOYASH HAROLD WALTER      Pfc      4 USMC      Mrs Daisy Doyash; 62 Henry St., Detroit, Mich
SMITH HENRY J      Pvt      59 CAC      William H. Smith; Rt #2, Hannibal, New York
HENNESSEY HARLAND J      Pvt      803 CE      Mrs D. Nennessy; 155 Ford St., Boonville, N.Y.

Cabanatuan Grave 407
PERNESTTI MARVIN      Pvt      CWS      Miss H. Pernestte, Mayking, Ky
VON RYCKE ANTHONY      Pvt      AC      13 W. 6th St., Propborbetown, _
CURRY JOHN M      WO      AGD      Dr. R.S. Curry; Poplar Blvd., Jackson, Miss
CHMIELEWSKI RAYMOND V      Pvt      QMC      J.L. Chimiclowski; Lemont, Ill
GARRISON RUSSELL S      Pvt      194 Tank      3051 California St., San Francisco, Calif
KRAMER KENNETH L      Pvt      AC      Mrs N. Kremer; 502 Pilchuck, Everett, Wash
CURD CHARLES W      Pfc      17 Pur      Mrs R.T. Curd; 609 W. Fulton St., Salisbury, N.C.
LYNCH CONDIA      Pvt      31 Inf      Mrs Mary Yarger; 525 LeRoy Ave., Bowling Green, Ohio
HUDSON ISAAC L      Pfc      AC      Mrs J.R. Rawson; 3326 Fifth St., Meridian, Miss
HEGGEMEIER PAUL A      S-Sgt      5 Inter      Mrs Z. Heggemeier; Madison, Kan
CAVENDER ROBERT B      Pvt      31 Inf      Alvina Goodteacher; Sante, Nebr
CRAIG CLEMENT D      Corp      34 Pur      Mrs B.S. Craig; Galina Park, Texas
MARX CLYDE F      Inf      407      _ Marx; 324 Central Ave., Oshkosh, Wisc
DUNCAN WILLIAM J      Pvt      20th AB      Mrs W. Duncan; Rt #11, Box 417, Lamay, Miss
BOLTON LEWIS B      Pvt      21 Pur      Mrs Lvdpy Bolton; Rt #1, Maberham, Tenn
BARTLETT ARNOLD L      Pvt      27 Bomb      Mrs Myrtle S. Heath; Cabot, Vt      dup recno 119021
HANSEN DAVID C      Pfc      27 Bomb      Mrs A. Hanson; 2134 W. 52nd St., Milwaukee, Wisc
EDWARDS WADE      Pvt      SC      Dale Edwards; Breadis, Mont
KINTZ FRANK J JR      Pfc      AC      Mrs Alma G. Kintz; 134 Fontana St., Downcy, Calif
AGREN HAROLD E      2nd Lt      QMC      E.F. Agren; Vashon, Wash
EBY WILLIAM E      Pvt      409 SC      Mrs Earl Eby; 185 Roosevelt Ave., Bend, Ore
WILLIAMS JAMES R      S-Sgt      515 CAC      Mrs James R. Williams; 604 Colbrada St., Portales, N.M.
WORLEY HERBER R      Pvt      31 Inf      Heber Worley, St.; Wilcox Ave., Bell, Calif
MUMFORD WILLIAM M      Pfc      19 aB      Mrs N. Mumford; 115 Highrock St., Nadhers, Mass
WEBB MALCOLM S      Corp      Ord Tank      Regina webb; 1112 Ash St., Lowell, Kentucy
BRIGHT JACK R      Pvt      AC      Mrs J.T. Bright; Henderson, Texas
WRIGLEY HARRY G      Pvt      AMC      T.S. Wrigley; 412 28th St., Baltimore, Md
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