sicily–rome-american-cemetery

U.S. Navy Musician 2nd Class Lucas Swanson salutes after playing taps at the Sicily–Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno, Italy, on Memorial Day 2013. Each year U.S. and Italian service members participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery, which honors the 7,861 service members buried there. Photo—Christopher B. Stoltz, U.S. Navy (Wikimedia Commons)

It is Memorial Day weekend in the United States—a time set aside each year to remember men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. This is an appropriate time to review records of American prisoners of war who did not return from the Second World War.

Records of American World War II Prisoners of War on the United States National Archives website cover a total of 143,374 individual prisoners in all theatres of war.

Within this listing, 9,310 records indicate a prisoner “Died as Prisoner of War.”

Many individuals are reported to have died in an unspecified “dressing station” (first aid station near a combat area established for treating the wounded) or an unspecified “lazarett” (military hospital). For some a camp is listed. Occasionally, the “camp” category is blank (no designation of dressing station, lazarett, or camp).

The American Battle Monuments Commission oversees American commemorative cemeteries and memorials. Records for soldiers buried in these cemeteries or listed on the memorials are available on their searchable database.

Nineteen of those who died as prisoners had specific Italian camps or Italian hospital designations. See the list below. These soldiers might have died while interned, or after escape and while still in enemy-occupied territory (as was the case of Robert Newton and Martin Majeski).

Of the 19, nine are buried in American military cemeteries overseas. Six are buried in the Sicily–Rome American Cemetery and two in the Florence American Cemetery. P.G. 59 prisoner Frank Powers is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, Belgium. Thomas Smith is listed as missing in action; he is memorialized on the “Tablets of the Missing” in Florence American Cemetery.

AHERN, THOMAS C.
Serial Number—15304499
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—Indiana
POW Camp—Stalag #339 (FORMERLY #337) Mantua Italy 45-10
No listing on the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) website

BAEHR, CONRAD F.
Serial Number—35914647
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—Ohio
POW Camp—Stalag #339 (FORMERLY #337) Mantua Italy 45-10
No listing on the ABMC website

BARTMANN, JACK
Serial Number—32883370
Corporal
U.S. Army, Air Corps
State of Residence—New York
POW Camp—Stalag #339 (FORMERLY #337) Mantua Italy 45-10
No listing on the ABMC website

BOSTON, JOSEPH W., Jr
Serial Number—0-667927
First Lieutenant
U.S. Army, Air Corps
487th Bomber Squadron, 340th Bomber Group, Medium
State of Residence—Texas
POW Camp—Vecchio Hospital Verona Italy 45-11
Date of Death—February 13, 1944
Buried—Sicily–Rome American Cemetery (Plot C, Row 11, Grave 17)
Awards—Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster

CALKINS, ROBERT H.
Serial Number—0-729603
Second Lieutenant
U.S. Army, Air Corps
341st Bomber Squadron, 97th Bomber Group, Heavy
State of Residence—District of Columbia
POW Camp—CC 202 Lucca Italy 44-10
Date of Death—May 24, 1943
Buried—Florence American Cemetery (Plot B, Row 8, Grave 7)
Awards—Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart

CLEMITSON, ARTHUR P.
Serial Number—37042661
Corporal
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—Iowa
POW Camp—CC 204 Altamura Italy 41-16
No listing on the ABMC website

COONEY, ANDREW J.
Serial Number—0-927864
First Lieutenant
U.S. Army, Air Corps
State of Residence—New York
POW Camp—Stalag #339 (FORMERLY #337) Mantua Italy 45-10
No listing on the ABMC website

DUNHAM, RICHARD
Serial Number—37139370
Corporal
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—no state listed
POW Camp—Stalag #339 (FORMERLY #337) Mantua Italy 45-10
No listing on the ABMC website

EVANS, KENNETH B.
Serial Number—33246270
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—Pennsylvania
POW Camp—CC 65 Gravina Italy 40-16
No listing on the ABMC website

HULL, RAYMOND H.
Serial Number—39204569
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division
State of Residence—Washington
POW Camp—Air Corps Transit Camp Verona Italy 45-11
Date of Death—March 1, 1944
Buried—Sicily–Rome American Cemetery (Plot D, Row 14, Grave 46)
Awards: Purple Heart

KURTZ, NOBLE
Serial Number—37402838
Private
U.S. Army, Field Artillery
State of Residence—Missouri
POW Camp—Hospital Caserta Caserta Italy 41-14
No listing on the ABMC website

MAJESKI, EDWIN M.
Serial Number—14037579
Corporal
U.S. Army, Field Artillery
17th Field Artillery Battalion
State of Residence—South Carolina
POW camp—59 Ascoli Picenzo Italy 43-13
Date of Death—March 9, 1944
Buried—Sicily–Rome American Cemetery (Plot E, Row 15, Grave 18)
Award—Purple Heart

NEWTON, ROBERT A.
Serial Number—35166007
Corporal
U.S. Army, Infantry—Armored Division
State of Residence—Indiana
POW camp—59 Ascoli Picenzo Italy 43-13
No listing on the ABMC website
For details on Robert’s death and burial, see “The Story of Robert Alvey Newton.”

PERRY, FRANK
Serial Number—06552294
Sergeant
U.S. Army, Infantry
18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
State of Residence—New Jersey
POW Camp—Hospital Caserta Caserta Italy 41-14
Date of Death—January 24, 1943
Buried—Sicily–Rome American Cemetery (Plot J, Row 14, Grave 16)
Awards—Silver Star, Purple Heart

PINEAU, AUSTIN J.
Serial Number—6126685
Sergeant
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—New Hampshire
POW Camp—CC 66 Capua Italy 41-14
No listing on the ABMC website

POWELL, MERLE J.
Serial Number—13048558
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
State of Residence—Pennsylvania
POW Camp—Military Hospital #75 Bari Italy 41-17
Date of Death—April 9, 1943
Buried—Sicily–Rome American Cemetery (Plot E, Row 10, Grave 40)
Award—Purple Heart

POWERS, FRANK E., Jr
Serial Number—31069525
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
State of Residence—Massachusetts
POW Camp—59 Ascoli Picenzo Italy 43-13
Date of Death—November 1, 1945
Buried—Ardennes American Cemetery, Belgium (Plot D, Row 9, Grave 58)
Awards—Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Notes from the memorials site—”Initially listed as missing in action, PVT Powers’ remains were later recovered and permanently interred at the Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial. PVT Powers’ name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery at Carthage, Tunisia.”

ROSS, CHARLES D.
Serial Number—0-676654
First Lieutenant
U.S. Army, Infantry
486th Bomber Squadron, 340th Bomber Group, Medium
State of Residence—Colorado
POW Camp—Air Corps Transit Camp Verona Italy 45-11
Date of Death—February 12, 1945
Buried—Sicily–Rome American Cemetery (Plot B, Row 1, Grave 23)
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

SMITH, THOMAS J., Jr
(The American Battle Monuments website and his enlistment record record Thomas Smith as Sr., whereas the National Archives POW datebase lists him as Jr.)
Serial Number—34826747
Private First Class
U.S. Army, Infantry
133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division
State of Residence—Georgia
POW Camp—Air Corps Transit Camp Verona Italy 45-11
Date of Death—September 19, 1944
Status—Missing in Action
Memorialized on the “Tablets of the Missing” in Florence American Cemetery
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster

SPENCE, WESLEY G.
Serial Number—34689536
Private
U.S. Army, Infantry
State of Residence—Georgia
POW Camp—Bagno A Ripoli Florence (Firense) Italy 43-11
No listing on the ABMC website

florence-american-cemetery-defense.gov

Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in the Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, November 2011.

The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. Photo—John Queen, U.S. Army (Wikimedia Commons)

ardennes-cemetery

Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial in Neuville-en-Condroz, near the southeast edge of Neupré, Wallonia, Belgium, June 2011. Along the outside of the memorial, 463 names are inscribed on the granite Tablets of the Missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Photo—Jean Housen (Wikimedia Commons)

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