Remains of Pennsylvanian WWII soldier who died in prison camp identified

Jan 30, 2024, 12:53 PM | Updated: 12:54 pm

The remains of a Pennsylvanian soldier, U.S. Army Private Earl E.R. Seibert, who died in a prison c...

The remains of a Pennsylvanian soldier, U.S. Army Private Earl E.R. Seibert, who died in a prison camp during World War II have been identified. Mandatory Credit: DEFENSE POW/MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCY/KDKA

ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (KDKA) — The remains of a Pennsylvanian soldier who died in a prison camp during World War II have been identified.

Twenty-three-year-old U.S. Army Private Earl E.R. Seibert of Allentown, who was captured and died as a prisoner of war, was accounted for on Aug. 10, 2023, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced on Monday.

In late 1941, the DPAA said Seibert was a member of Headquarters Company, 803rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation), when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands, leading to intense fighting until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and of Corregidor Island more than a year later.

Seibert was among those reported captured when U.S. forces in Bataan surrendered to the Japanese, the DPAA said. The prisoners of war were subjected to the 65-mile Bataan Death March, then held at a camp where more than 2,500 people died.

Citing the prison camp and other historical records, the DPAA said Seibert died July 27, 1942, and was buried in the local Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in Common Grave 225. His remains were moved but never identified, and for 70 years, his grave at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial was cared for by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

In 2018, the unidentified remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis, and scientists were able to identify Seibert using anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence and DNA.

Now that he’s been identified, his family will determine when and where he’ll be buried.

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Remains of Pennsylvanian WWII soldier who died in prison camp identified