1st LT Cahoon was assigned to the 26th Cavalry Regiment (PS) in the Philippines during WW2. He was Killed in Action on 7 Jan 1942 and is still listed as Missing in Action. Hi nephew and namesake tells us his Story of Sacrifice and the Quest to bring...
Welcome to stories of sacrifice, World War two, American P. O. W. M. I. A's Podcast, the Voice of the Missing in Action and the voice of those buried as unknowns in our national cemeteries. I'm your host and lead researcher John Bear. Over 75,000 service members are still listed as missing in action from World War two. Of those, over 30,000 are currently listed. Is Active Pursuit by the defense, P O W M I, A. Accounting agency. Active pursuit, meaning they could possibly be identified with the proper family reference sample DNA being on file with the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The process of doing DNA reference material is easy, painless and free of charge. If you are the relative, um, of a missing service member, you can contact the service casually Office of the M I A. For information on how to provide a DNA sample, the service casually office will millions Mel to your home DNA donor kid that contains a donor consent form instruction form, three cheek swabs and a shipping envelope. All you have to do is fill out the paperwork, rub the inside of your cheek with the swabs. Place the swabs back into the containers and fix the label the collected samples air, then placed in a pre addressed and prepaid envelope and then melt to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab at Dover. That's it. It's completely painless process. To get more information about your missing in action relative, you can visit our website U S P O W M I A family locating dot com, and we can help you to determine if your relative is currently listed on the D. P. A. A active pursuit list and the next steps to help get them identified. Just visit our website or email John at U. S. P o W M I. A family locating dot com. Welcome to debase story of sacrifice podcast. We have some very exciting news to share with our listeners, so please stick with us to the very end to find out more on today's podcast were telling you about a little known Calvary Regiment that served in the Philippines. The 26th Calvary Regiment of the Philippine Scouts. This regiment is better known for its heroic last U. S. Calvary charge on horseback against an opposing enemy force. Little is known about the brave American officers and the Filipino enlisted men of the 26th who bravely held their positions and sacrificed himself to keep America and the Philippines free. I'm joined today with Cal Boardman, who is the nephew of First Lieutenant Karol Calhoun, who was an officer with the 26 Calvary Regiment. Currently, First Lieutenant Calhoun is listed as missing in action. Hi, Cal. Welcome to today's show. Hello, John. Thank
you for inviting me to tell that story. It's been it's been a journey.
Yeah. What can you tell us about your Uncle Kao? And probably prior to the war leading up to the war?
Okay, Well, Caroli, that was his given name, But everybody called him Cal, maybe for obvious reasons, but But he hey, went by tail. And so, Cal, I'm gonna call in Calcutta, Moon and least up until the time he is the first lieutenant in many become Lieutenant. Calculation was born in Idaho, Burley, Idaho, in 1917. And he had at the time he was born. He had an older brother, Gomez Calhoun, and everybody called him measure. So Callen measures were the two kids at the time when Falcon, who got when he became two years old, they had a another sibling, born the daughter, and it was about five years after that that their father, Joseph Boone, died of a ruptured appendicitis. The medicine wasn't quite the same in those days as it is in these days. No, about a year later, their mother remarried, and from that marriage cane another dog. So there were four siblings, too boys and two girls that lived in Burley, their grand parents. And this is important, I think, to the story. Their grand parents lived in the ranching community on the border of Idaho and Utah. In the communities name was Alamo, Idaho, and being a ranching town. I can't really call it a town, essentially got one a little store and the rest are just ranching homes, even to this day. So most of the members of their family, my family, is well on that side are buried in this little boot hill kind of cemetery up on the side of the hill, right above Elmo, Idaho. It's a wonderful remote but gorgeous place. Cal graduated from high school, and his brother clearly had graduated two years prior. They both had joined the Idaho National Guard because of their prior experience in the ranching community. Help, particularly loved horses. Um, he rode them every chance he got. And so when he joined the Idaho National Guard for him, it was a natural assignment to be part of the Calvary of the Idaho National Guard. And during his training, and he joined when he was 17 years old. So he joined pretty early. But it wasn't too long before he was recognized for his ak Ulan in the back of a horse and his military knowledge, and he was the only one. And I can't remember the year. Um, probably when he was 18 or 19 that was chosen to go train. Uh, and then, uh, the 26 scalpel. I'm not 26 Calvary, but but the train in Fort Riley, Kansas, uh, with, uh, a colonel who will eventually be its commanding officer when he reached the Philippines. But at this point, he was still a member of the National Guard, and yet he was being trained in Calvary Taxi, Uh, at Fort Riley, Kansas. It wasn't too long after the completion of his training that in December 20th 1938 he resigned on the Idaho National Guard, and on that exact same day, he joined the regular Army of the United States. Now, interestingly, his older brother, who had also been a member of the Idaho National Guard, did exactly the same day thing thing on the same day they both resigned in Idaho National Guard. They both join the regular Army. Cal and his days went to the Calvary measure in his case, went to the infantry, and they began their training. That was 1938. Cal was sent to Fort Bliss to continue training in Calgary tactic. And then, ultimately, ah, a few years later, after training literally around the country, he ended up the station in California, got on the ship in February of 1941 the U. S s grant that sailed from San Francisco to Manila, at which point he became a member of the 26th Calvary Philippine scouts. At that time, his older brother, who, incidentally, was my father, Waas, a sign to help put together the 12 of the 70 a division of infantry, and it was being formed in Oregon and their nickname with the Trail Blazers. And he was captain at the time that he met my mother at one of his stations. So in Texas, they met. Fell in love. A year later, I was born. They wanted to name me after my Uncle Kau, but they didn't want to call me Carol. So they thought, Well, it's calling Taliban,
which they do did officially.
So my name is officially Calvin, but I like Cal just like my uncle did. And at that time, shortly thereafter that the division was ready, it was ready to go. It was sent to Marseilles, France, in October of 1944. They were sent directly to the front, up by Strasbourg in the all face with Region of Northeast France. Attn. That same time and that was right after the Battle of the Bold provided the end of it. Hitler sent his crack troops in Norway down into the same region in what he called Operation More to win. And that's where the 70 it's division. This this green Division that had not faced any action, uh, got got Hitler's best, and it was a brutal fight. But the Americans pushed forward. Uh, they took territory right overlooking Germany in the Pitcher and Heights, and the all Saints will leave the region. My dad has killed at the front, leading his first battalion. Ah, and he is buried in the ethanol American military cemetery in France. Now I tell you that because my journey with respect to my uncle began during a trip about six years ago, when my wife and I and another couple friends, good friends of ours, retrace my father's footsteps in terms of his battle experience, we went to the cemetery in ethanol and as the superintendent was taking us around the ground, he particularly pointed grain. Uh, that represented two brothers, and there were can't remember between five and 10 sets of brothers that were bearing side by side in the FNL Cemetery. I mentioned him that my father, who was buried there as a major at a brother who was killed in the Philippines but he's missing in action and the family knows very little about it, the superintendent said, if you ever find him, if he's recovered and identified, I'm sure the Army would be proud to bury him next to his brother. Your father in the cemetery is Frank.
That started my journey. Uh, to be honest, I knew very little about Cal communes. I knew a good bit more about my father. But even that when I was six years old, I was one year old when my father was killed. Five years later, my mother remarried. Two years after that, my new father, my adopted father, adopted me. And that's when I carry Now the name Boardman probably bear the name, but also probably still have the name of whom, as a part of my my name. So I thought I know a fair amount about my my father because of the trip that we took over there. But I know very little about Cal communes. The first thing I did this was starting four or five years ago. One of my recommendations for anybody who is either beginning this journey themselves or that they've been on their Joanie for some time, uh, to go back and read as much of the history as you can. For one thing, it makes your journey relative to your family member for me, anyway, on more riel. Put him in context of the history of the talent. Secondly, it's just amazing what information is out there. I started reading the history of the Spanish American War. That was the initial spot where the United States ended up having the Philippines as one of their territories. They were not a territorial country prior to 18 98 But after that, they now had expanded their territory, uh, to a large degree, because the spoils of war that they got it in the into the Spanish American War. So that whole history, uh, of American involvement in the Philippines, I think is important to understand the connection between the Philippine people and the American people. And why the 26 Calvary not to mention all the other units that that we have read about and many of them that you have on your podcast, John, uh, I understand why they were there in the first place. Um, so that leaves me up to the time they were in the 26th Calvary. Fortunately, among the things that I read were a number of letters that he had sent not only to my father and his sister, but also to his mother. I am so grateful to not only my father, but is their mother who saved these letters. But all whole the the sisters of both boys were ultimately clearly killed. Mobile, too. You saved them all these years, and and I feel so honored to be able to read them because it's really through those letters. But I've gotten to know Calcutta, who's on a more personal basis. I know his record, I've unfortunately been able to get is individual disease the personnel file from the army a few years ago, actually, so I knew that. But I didn't know him personally. And he was, uh he was a character. He described his journeys across on the U. S. Grant, Uh, he described his impressions of the Philippines, uh, and protectively his impression of of land. And of the Philippine scouts, there are a number of both, But if we have time, I'd like to read the because they just, I think, exemplify the incredible training and culture of the Philippine Scouts.
Oh, yeah, we've got time. If you want to read some of them. Definitely.
Well, all right. Let me. Well, I'm telling you this let me see if I can kind of find a little bit of them. All right, here. Here we go. What she did, uh, their mother saved these letters so most of them are addressed here. Mom here is one that he wrote to his mom. I'm going to quote a few of 10 just because I think there are beautifully descriptive of the Philippines in in early 1941 There, mon, there are a few snapshots that might interest you. This place is almost like a summer resort. It's everything I imagined, including traffic drives on the left side here, which is rather confusing. Cars also has a steering wheel on the right. Orchids grow wild. Beautiful flowers of all descriptions grow here the year round and singing birds never goes out. Native Filipinos, where as little as possible Jews are considered a nuisance. Older Children are required by law to be at least half brothers. They are the top young ones. Go naked. Everyone sleep an hour or two after lunch. Yes, the time and no one ever hurry. Time is of no importance. Something that strikes me is novel is the length of time Filipinos have toe work at anything before he has considered worthwhile. One of the officers was helping me select a cook. Yesterday, he asked his own house boy, if the perspective cook was any good. His houseboy shrugged his shoulders and then replied, Maybe so. I don't think so. The only cook. 15 years the Filipino usually served 21 years in the Philippine Scouts before he has made Sergeant about a week ago a buck private what eight years service was promoted to first class private. His friends think he's either a genius for the American officers are getting very lax like me. Everything you can think of love, Kale. Here's another one. This was the shorter, uh, segment. We have an excellent regimental CEO. The morale of both officers and man is very high Philippine scouts. Soldiers is a saluting demon. They are very loyal and would do almost anything for their offices. They're very serious in their work. You cannot joke with them like you can with an American soldier. Uh, there's all he talks about the headhunters, but I, uh, the He's also mentioning that he's learning to speak the language tag along, and he puts a tag along phrases in his letter that he sent back. And this is from the last letter that he wrote. The temperature got down to 90 degrees here last night and caused quite a sensation. Some people actually threatened toe wear pajamas to bed.
People in the United States air probably all worried about the Japs taking the Philippines. We inhabitants. So this forsaken tropical paradise don't even give it a second thought, Harlan. Not Poco Gallien. I'm started and pronounced it right. Goodbye. Now, Wrightson yours, Cal. That was his last letter. And it was written in November, 23rd 1941 Japanese invaded one week later or two later. I guess it would be right. Felix like
and nothing else was hurt. And in fact, I have not been able to find any letters from the least those around that I've been looking at that were written that those men were pretty B is a busy starting on in December. They they had their hands full.
Yeah, they did.
So they at least in county case, that was his last one.
just gives you a sense of his respect for the Philippine people. And another letters. He talks about how gorgeous the landscape Waas.
so in those snapshots that I referred to, I got I'm figuring out a way to show those at some future point
Yeah, they used to call that they used to call me Miller. There were the Philippines, the pearl of the Pearl of the Orient. So that definitely definitely explains it.
Now it was It was mighty beautiful at that time. Now what he didn't realize as what he was getting into. Of course, I don't think anybody, at least at that level, really understood. But the powers of the new that Japan was making the signals moves. Certainly there were there was enough a belief by the top brands in the U. S. Military that the Japanese were likely to launch something somewhere. They're not sure exactly when, but they we're perfect invested was going to happen. So much so that during 1941 when he was there, they spent time not only trying to train the Philippine soldiers, um, but but also to prepare plans. At least the officers did for the eventuality of the Japanese invasion and a CZ you mentioned and others of your pod cast John that they're these fallback positions that had been all planned out.
Yeah, that was really bring part of war Plan Orange. Yeah,
that's the only part that really wasn't planned out. Waas. The fact that it came as quickly as it did, they were thinking it would happen in April or May of 1942. You know, honestly, would have been a stretch as they've been read, even in April or May of 1942 because the equipment they had was woefully inadequate in most cases. And I'm sure you and listening to know this. But most cases they still had world War equipment on. And where they did have some World War two equipment, they oftentimes didn't have enough ammunition to even have a practice shot on the range. Oh, are if they did? It was one or two shots. It was just enough to know how the gun works, but not enough to get very proficient at it in terms of a mechanized backup. And I'm only talking about the 26th Calvary here. I can't speak anymore about the 31st Infantry that I know you're relative was part of John. But in terms of the 26th Calvary. They're mechanized. Support was fairly thin. Of course they were Calvary. And in those days they expected to use the horse militarily, which they did, in fact 26 Calvary that became known as the whole list of the whole course Soldiers of the Philippines and probably another podcast or another areas. You know that the last forced back charge in U. S. Army Calvary history occurred by a unit of the 26th Calvary in March of 1942 in the Philippines and and but ironically, at the time, shortly thereafter, when the when the Japanese were successfully pushing across the Philippines a lot more slowly than that plan, by the way, and we can talk about that later. About the time that the the Cavalry saw the handwriting on the wall, General Wainwright made the decision to essentially disband the Calvary. At that point, we're talking about March latter part of March, and the horses were eventually killed for food, for the rest of that of the soldiers. And, of course, everybody was really hungry starting at that point. But the the Calvary refused to have a party in any of the horse mate at that time, but ironically back in Washington, and that almost identically the same time the United States Army was signing the documents to remove from office. Essentially the last commandant of the United States Army, Calvary, so is officially was ending about the same time that it was ending in the Philippines. For men on it was, It Was It had begun is ah, during World War Two, as a mixed armor of mechanized is, well, it's horseback. But by the end of March, in the first part of April in 1942 the Calvary now became mechanized. Those are actually a very important part of U. S. Military history that was occurring in the Philippines in that particular point in time. But it let's back up a little bit here. You know, the invasion. As I mentioned, the soldiers that were being trained by the American were Filipinos. Enlisted men were all Filipinos. The 26th Calvary. There were 700 65 I believe, Enlisted man in the 26 gallery. There were 55 American offices in the 26th Calvary, and the job of the officers was to get that regimen and tipped up fighting shape. As I mentioned, they didn't have a lot of of equipment, but their commander, Colonel Pierce, the same guy that my Uncle Blaine would using the Idaho National Guard all right, drilled them, drilled them, drilled them, drilled them and their morale. Their ability to use the horse in a military setting strategically was top knot. The 26 Calvary ended up, and I can't remember exactly, but I think it was three United States Presidential Unit awards and two or three Philippine presidential unit citation and as many or maybe more than any other one unit in the war. And they accomplish this in four months worth of active battle. It was an amazing unit that lane, right? Fine. Help slow down the Japanese as he also assigned the 31st Calvary on the 31st Infantry and the number of others to try to slow down this drug or not of the Japanese that had landed on the northeast and northwest shores of loose on. Let's move ahead. A little bit of about a week after the invasion, it was clear where the Japanese were landing, and there at that time there were six count cards. This They had some other mechanized rocks and other vehicles. But the scalp
this hybrid vehicle that was lightly armored. It was armed, but it was not an attack. The goals more of the A strategic surveillance, quick attacks would like a horse. I mean, it was It was designed to be able to move quickly, go over tough to rain, get in there and get out. Could carry up to seven men. It looked like a cross between the jeep on the Land Rover. It could be mounted with up the three machine gun on this vehicle. They had through a six of these cars and start of the war. Our kind of normal.
quite know what to call it, but it was this amazing vehicle. What the officer did is that they sent they split it in half. Three of the cars were sent up to the northeast part of the Philippines for surveillance and to gather information, send it back to headquarters. The other three was set up the Northwest Court closet to do the same thing. They're three going up to the northeast part of the island Waas, where my uncle was a sign he was spent with those three scout cars. They eventually came back to the beginning of the fourth week in December. So two weeks later they came back, the three that went to the Northwest, where most of the landing force actually occurred. One of those cars got a direct artillery hit and killed Lieutenant George and and all the men invested into in that car. Another one got hit on damage, but no one was killed in that one. But the scout car itself will put out of commission. One scout car made it back. So out of this, there were four left around December 28 29 when they all rejoined the 26th Calvary Regiment, and this was north of the Black Junction. So one of those defensive lines one of those four agents, not Agent Orange, the Orange Plan the plan, move them back and stages and generally 26th Cavalry when they decided to move back from one safe for the next effect. The defensive days 26 calories was often the last unit we need, because for the most part they were very mobile with the scout cars and their horses that gets us through some pretty fierce fighting. Uh, I must say, while it's on my mind in a four month period of time with the fierce fighting that I just mentioned. Of those 55 officers, 2/3 were killed. The 765 enlisted men just under 2/3 were killed.
not talking about being wounded there. I'm sure anymore that were wounded. I'm talking about, um, killed in action casualties. Ah, 2/3 casualties, right? That was pretty tough.
Now, that's actually a very high casualty rate,
you know? And I think it just reflected the fact that they was They were there, pretty much to the end. So anyway, they were pulling back to the lab. Junction Junction was the site of the first Philippine Scouts, who was eventually recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor and the American officer and then injure lieutenant manager was also recognised. And he was he fought just like south of theirs. I remember
It was it was fierce fighting. And there was honorable actions that occurred out of this unit particularly. So it was time after they blew the bridge lay eggs junction, which is right at the top of the Bataan Peninsula, which was the plan, the plan. Oranges to get all the men and as much equipment and supplies that they could onto this financial for eventual rescue. Of course, we know that that didn't happen to a large degree, I think, particularly after Pearl Harbor, the officers knew that it wasn't going to happen. They still thought Bailey valiantly as they retreated across one song and then eventually, under the Baton Confidential that gets us then to the everybody except the 31st Infantry in the 26th Calvary had moved south to the next. Why? Which was about five miles to the south. I mean, you know, for me, I read about all this action, and it feels like it's a huge distance between actions, but really five miles, not very far.
that's particularly why artillery is so effective. Japanese a swell is ours to slow him down, but it was it was infected tactic. So what? Anyway? Now we're up to January 7, and on the early morning of January 7th, about 2 30 in the morning, it was about 1/4 of the moon. I don't know if it was raining. But I know it was reasonably dark at about 2 30 in the morning that the general who commanded the 31st interest Infantry, got the permission or order. I'm not sure which to withdraw to that next defensive line. And so they pulled out at about 2 32 On their left flank was the 26th Calvary. They sent a message. Somebody sent a message to the 26th Cavalry, but the passwords had been changed in the Calvary had not been given the new information. In any event, the communication between the 31st on the 22nd had been garbled.
26. Calvary did not know that the 31st Infantry had left. So to the right of the 26th Calvary was nothing. 30% in tree had gone. Calvary knew that they were about to be attacked. And this is in the middle of the night, dark. So what? He said. Bullets. Let's win the scout cars. Remember, there are four of them. Let's get send the scout cars with all the regimental records, all the colors, the banners, all of the official documents of the Calvary. Let's put him on these four scout cars. Let's also put one civilian who was traveling. As it turns out, there was United Press International reporter by the name of Francois Heisbourg, who was, um, we might call it today embedded with the 26th Calvary, and he waas not sure that he could. Well, he wasn't a good writer in terms of riding horses, and you must not have been in the greatest shape. I don't know. In any event, he and the colonel decides that he's escaped with scout cars. He gets on the scout cars. My uncle was still a lieutenant by this time, First lieutenant, and he had commanded one of the cars with Enlisted Man. And there were two other lieutenants with him. Actually, 31 was Lieutenant whom? My uncle, another lieutenant Graves. I will talk about a little more than minutes and the other a cunning and they were true. And so they set out. By now, it's about 4 30 in the morning. This is two hours after the 31st head full round, two hours with nobody in front of the Japanese. What? But here we go. Let's move ahead. So the Japanese had moved into place vacated by the 31st Infantry. And unbeknownst to this platoon, they drove right into the middle of them in the middle of the night.
And they didn't know what it It's just, uh these air all pieced together from story, I'm telling you, pieced together from a wide variety of sources of journals, journal articles, book diaries A. What kinds of stuff. Nobody's ever written anything specifically about what happened to this platoon of six Scout cars. Most everybody has talked about familiar in the plug. Just pieced together this story, create this narrative. But I'm sharing with you,
Then, um So when they ran headlong in one scout car, presumably the one in the back was able to turn around with one American officer and two enlisted men, and they made their way back to the regimen. Get it in the middle of the night. There's the eyewitness accounts of those who return to the regiment out of the other cars that were under attack. Uh, there are three of them. So there were three other Philippine scouts enlisted men who were able to a state unharmed through the brush in the middle of the night and make their way back to the regiment. So how did the about 22 men a six made it back to the rest? Frantz Wise bird, the civilian reporter was wounded, for which he ultimately got a purple heart. By the way, when the world was over,
I see that
the S and and there were a few Ernie Pyles another. There were a few journalists who did was were awarded the Purple Heart, and Wiseman was one of them. He was wounded and captured in a quick sidebar on him Is that when he was captured, he was eventually taken, too. And I'm not Europe announcing this, right, John Bill Abad. Bella
bag about prison yet
prison. And that's where he stayed for three years. Um, well, yeah, it was about three years until he was repatriated. I get. And during that three times he kept records. And in his other assignments before the Philippines, he had opportunities. I'm sure to learn language, the Japanese language. So he probably was a pretty valuable guy for the Japanese, and they had him doing described kind of work, but on the side, he would keep records of who in that prison were captured or killed. And then he will hide them. Of course, because of Japanese found that they would have executed him, civilian or no. When the war was over, he wrote various articles that were published and in one of them that I had a chance to find. He mentioned that at the end of the war, he gave that list of names through the army. At that point, it disappeared.
now I would think to the work that you do and others also do that list. Those records that he kept would be a valuable source of information. And I cannot tell you what happened to them. I have asked everyone I could think of. Did they know who he Waas? You can find out a lot about him, but about the records that were turned over to the U. S. Army? Nothing, including No. I've asked my case manager if they ever knew it in thing. And I mentioned it to my deep p a a family update last April. They didn't. You all know anything? I cannot believe they just flat word thrown away.
You know, they probably lost in the archives here somewhere.
But somewhere out there, maybe this very valuable lift. Soldiers were captured in prison and potentially eventually died. But anyway, that's a that's a little sidebar. So what happens is the Calcutta whom has killed the regimen after they find out there has been an ambush. They go cross country. The cars are the last car is abandoned. Then they go on horseback and on foot, and it takes them some days redoing the 31st Infantry and everybody else that this next defensive line that they made it back. The remaining 15 soldiers to American officers and 13 enlisted men are missing in action. Now I can tell you the names of the two American officers, and I can tell you the name of three of the 13 Philippine scout enlisted man. But the remaining can Philippine scouts enlisted men. I can't even tell you their names, much less what their service numbers might be. Yours, anybody's looking for them or or anything, it's It's a shame, but in some sense they're not even identified. Well, that's a whole nother story.
of my effort is to try to narrow the possibilities that was 765 enlisted men day names down to a step that might contain those 10 names. And while I'm there, I've narrowed down the 765 down to 30.
and I posted the names of those 30 actually 36 then posted them on to Philippine World War Two related websites. Six were gets identified. The right word is either surviving war being killed in the war, and that left 35 30 names from whom I think those 10 unknown should come. I've tried to track down as much as I could The family members of the three enlisted men whose names I do know. And I've had absolutely zero luck doing that. In terms of the two American offices Lieutenant Carol could lose his family mind has now provided the DNA reference samples and the family of the other American officer, Lieutenant Stevens Graves, has also provided sufficient d n a reference sample. So for the American officers, where the 100% of the tube anyway, that that went what? Missing that night?
that the story. And it took me. I apologize longer than I had thought. It would to tell it to you, but that's kind of where we are now. Last April, as I mentioned, I met in the D. P. A family update. I gave them a copy of the little paper I had written, sharing what information I had at that time that I said that there were 15 names, this thing missing in action. I didn't have any names to go with him at that point, and I had had pretty much figured out what that happened in the ambush. But I gave all that to them. Last April. They gave me in return their report on personal Janet Caroline Coon, and at the end of that report, they said that they had identified. That's not the right word narrowed down the possibilities of remains unknown remains down, too, ironically, 15 from the Black Junction, coolest areas where the ambush occurred. Well, there are two numbers linked up.
Well, that's pretty good.
It was after that that I didn't really hear anything further until December, just two months ago. Now I'll get to that in a minute.
the meantime, what I was doing, though, is thanks to individuals like yourself and John ikan Chad Hill, J. P. Speeder and so many others. By the time mid December rolled around, I had been able to the recipient of 15 exiles that I was hoping would pretty much cover the possibilities of the 15 unknowns in that area. And so I set out to learn more about those 15 X Files. Not can talk more about that if you want or not. But I
set out please do
each each x file. Um, not each one. Many of the X Files Most of them, in fact, had map coordinates associated with where the remains were located when the war was over and Sergeant Heavy Abraham was tasked to go look for them. There were these X files in the coordinates were not longitude latitude coordinates. As it turns out, they were coordinates of the 1944 U. S. Army man that Abraham had, and Jed Hill fortunately, knew howto find that map. He said them to me. And with his help, we were able to plot the location of each of those X files recoveries on on this man. And that helped us determine the actual route that the 26th Cavalry Scout car platoon probably took in the middle of the night of January 7th 1942 because those grave sites would have been, in some sense, the fingerprints of where they were
they were built. I am half the DP A. If they would share with me the 50 next files that they that indicated were President, they never did that even to today. They have. So what I did. And then they had their reasons. I sort of understand. But what I asked in return instead was if they could provide me with 15 X file number,
then I could cross reference their 50 next files through the 15 next tiles that John Eakin, particularly by help me get and d p. A. To their credit, they did that. I got all 15 X file numbers, and that occurred mid December just a few months ago. Since then, I have spent time looking at each of the X Files because I was able to get the ones that I was not given before and and I was also able to tell d p. A. That they missed a few because I had some. They did not. It
That's pretty good, huh?
That I haven't heard back. I know, But anyway, now they have more more information. Um, I continued and have finished investigating each one of the X Files to try to decide which ones are likely to be my uncle, the fellow Lieutenant Lieutenant Graves. And I think I know which x Files they are. And if in fact, that's right, then you know what graves in the Manila Market Cemetery contained the remains of of the two of them in that email that they set me giving me the X file numbers mid December. There was this one sentence at the end. They said that the D p, a historian, have now agreed you're dissenter three of the now 23 checked files out of that particular battle, Harry.
to disinter three. Who of those three are the two that I think have a high
of being lieutenant grades and couldn't.
And how did you How did you come up with that probability of being your uncle in Lieutenant Graves?
A couple of things. Most importantly, was the interrogation report that Evie Abraham filled out when b recovered that when they were initially buried by the Filipino. Whoever buried him way back when and Sergeant Abraham waas directed to these various sites and as you know, he did thousands of, uh that are documented and essentially his journal a book by Oh, God, where are you and anybody is doing this sort of work, should that that has to be must reading for any family. It's just I did it. It blew me away. And thanks to John Eakin for
presenting to me is just
incredible. Anyway, in that interrogation report, you get a whole lot of stuff you get. You get a scalable chart with what bones were recovered. And, not surprisingly, none of them none of the exile looked at 23. None of them have a complete. In fact, the skeletal parts. I can't have a percent, but it it's really not a huge amount of skeletal remains on If you look at the complete skeleton for a lot of reason that we could talk about a lot of reasons why they only partial skeletons. In any event, on the interrogation report, get the coordinates That puts the burial in the likely path of this ambush, which I may add was only maybe 1/2 a mile mile at the most from the Bataan Death March. Ralph, as we know, there were many casualties along that route and mayor and many rudimentary burials along that route. So the closer these X files were to that death on large route the left likely they'd be a part of the end.
who knows, but less likely. So one is the proximity where the remains were recovered. The second would be not skeletal remains that that didn't help a lot, but at least not yet. Future d N A. Of course, it is critical, but at this point, But then you you listen to the description of where the remains were found and importantly, Abraham recorded the observations of the man on. Generally, it was a man who took Abraham to the burial site. An Abraham would interview this man. Why were you tell us what you found when you buried the remains? And by the way, for these X files? Clearly these remains They were no identifying features like dog tags or like a my bracelet or any of the the paper or yen. In times of documents like paste up your orders or any of that. But they're long gone environment.
Yeah, there were. They could have been stripped off of him by the Japanese. Is the Japanese came through?
Yeah, Or if the Philippines had taken the dog tags, they didn't want to be caught with him so they would destroy them or throw him away or something. So it's not surprising in many ways that the skeletal remains really had no identifiable physical features other than the bones himself. And so Abraham interviewed these these men who had buried the bodies in the first place. That's what they remembered from often three years prior. Well, I mean, he was doing this 1945 6 and partly in 47 and the ambush occurred, as I said in January of 42. So actually, no, that's a stretch. Although if I were to bed and put in that horrible place of varying a body from war, I think I so even knows a long time. It's one of those events in one's life. I don't think you least I wouldn't forget very much. And so it's reading these interrogation report that gives you a description so often they were. They were still in their American uniforms. The uniforms over those years just deteriorated in the humidity and the and and the bugs and the animals and whatever else. Um, so they were clearly America. Often there was the description of skin color, or you had estimates of height, either from the skeletal structure remains or from the person who was interviewed would say, Well, that person waas around 16 tall or whatever the case may be.
and the Filipinos, for the most part, were shorter than those two American offices, for sure. And so you look at the X Files that were in that area, likely area of the ambush. There were three that we're clearly at least by the interrogation report. There were clearly Americans and does are the three that D. P. A. Has already made the order to dis intern.
Oh, that's good. Don't
that. That's how it happens. I've got to Ah, the bank VP A for making that decision. Those historians whose names I have no clue about, um whether they ever saw my report from April, I have no clue about that either, but I thank them for their diligence to make the decision to research the ambush and to look at their set of exiles and to make a decision to disinter Um, that's that's that's pretty epic and marry in mine and in the mind by of all the family members of these two American officers were very grateful for that. A time will tell course. The odds were always guessed you. Perhaps there's so many things that can still go long. There could not be a good name that that would not be a dental match. There's not. I mean, the circumstantial evidence is strong, but the direct evidence may prove that it's not him. I've had to come to a place in my life and to a large degree as a result of Abbey after Ham's book Oh, God, where are you? And my reading of Cal Kun's letters and his team for the Japanese, For the for the Philippines, men and women, he got to know that I know they. If they do say that the this is Lieutenant Carol covered in DNA is a match, it will only be a partial I know. The rest of that skeleton is now become a part of Philippine soil and after reading favor, hands book in the intense loyalty and appreciation he heads for the fellow Filipinos. If that's the way that my story, my uncle story, Lieutenant Graves story ends up, I'm okay with that.
I did not think I would ever be at that place. But I am. And I'm just so grateful, actually that cars lined up that gave me the opportunity to get to know my own. I I never did. Nobody in my family really did. So at the very least, we come out of this with a document that will hand down, um to our family Generations become so at the very least, Sunday.
Yeah. And you know, you're putting all this into a book, isn't that correct?
Yes. And And I and I, I've entitled it. Hang Alganov. That's the tag along on Philippine, the official language of the Philippine Tagalog and because Calcutta Waas learning that language, I thought I should honor the Filipinos and honor him and name this written effort of mine hang packing up, which means the quest because that's what this has been has been a
How it turns out it's been a quest and and I am My life has been touched because of it and done I'm so Grateful to You and and John Macon, Chad Hill on J. P Speeder and others that I acknowledge and in my book, but that have unselfishly given of their time and effort to help people like me. And like those others on your podcast, families are benefiting from all of the incredible work that you're doing, and and I could not be more grateful.
Well, there's a reason why we do. It is because we're grateful for what those men did for us and the freedoms we enjoy today, And that's that's the main reason why we do what we do. You know, of course. Yet you know, a lot of us had family members over there, too. Yeah. Yep.
So that's That's my journey, John. And I hope it wasn't too much of a ramble. It's It's an
interesting piece of history, and you don't hear too much about the 26 cover either in their endeavors and what they did for, you know, during the defense of Bataan. And, uh, you know, you hear about the Last Calvary charge is the main thing you ever hear about but right, you know, they took the brunt of the fighting. You know that E get in most cases, you know, they were there. Protection force for all the units were retreating to the different defensive positions and right, you know, they're amazing group of guys.
In fact, if if anybody you're anybody else is listening, I I read it kind of book on the Philippine part of World War Two. The best one that is readable, This current It was published in 2016 and and I've got little Marker Tab all through this book. It was a major source of information for May and let me just mention the book. And if anybody wants to know more about the 26 Calvary's role in More War to this book is amazing. The title of it is the doomed Horse Soldiers of Bataan,
the subtitle is The Incredible Stand of the 26th Calvary, and it's written by Raymond G. Wolf Jr uh, in the guy He Got Designed. His introduction was Colonel Ed when Ramsey who was the guy who led that last horse charge and U. S. Army is good, wrote the introduction to Raymond Wolf. Look, I highly recommend this book. It is a good read. It's informative. And and who knows? If any of you have a family member that was associating with 26th Cavalry, there's a There's a good chance it'll be mentioned in this in this book.
Yeah, so on your book, when you when you get it finished. If somebody wants thio, receive a copy of it or get a copy of it. How can they go about it?
It will be available on all the major, um, outlet. Uh, at least looks like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Any bookstore will be able to order it for you if they don't have it and stop directly from the publisher. Um, it's not likely that any bookstore will stock it. It I just can't imagine that that very many is not can imagine there's a big market for this thing because they go. It goes all the way from talking about Spanish American War all the way. They're telling you about the life with my uncle and so I don't know how many people want to know about that, but the but the lion's share of of the book. It's about what happened, and it's my attempt to figure out what happened. Do that, uh, mechanized portion of the 26th Calvary. And and, by the way, MacArthur is the one who pretty much proved in September of 41 that mechanized and horses could work best that they work together. But in the end, the mechanized would be is future Calvary. And that happened in the in the biggest gathering of military forces in our history. Pre pre Billboard two on our soil. It was huge military exercise, but that was where they showed that the future of the Calvary mechanization.
Yeah, well, you know the other thing, too. They're on during the fighting of the Bataan on Bataan. You know, they did use the 194 tank 192nd tank battalions on the flanks of the 26th Calvary. Um, yes. Improved knows or improved. Incredibly
valuable. They done can tell you that what I've read, folks. The 26th Calvary wanting more of those. Hey, they, uh yeah, that was a powerful, um, a powerful force. Just We just weren't well equipped. You just didn't have enough of
you help. Exactly. Well, is there anything that we might have forgot to talk about, Cal or any No, no,
no. I I'd be honored
did end up reading that book. Wanted to send
uh, any comments about it, but particularly when I'm will do in that book, as I have on those two websites to Facebook sites are the tilting the Scouts, Heritage Society's Facebook page and the other Facebook page is the, uh, the Philippine M I A p A. You're gonna have to help me on this
research group. Yeah. Yep.
Um, so all the defense, you know what I mean?
Yeah. The Filipino Filipino American
World War two p o W m I. A research group, But thank
you. That's a
mouthful on both of those. I posted the names of those 30 Philippine scalp enlisted men. And by the way, the U. S Army has made the decision, of course, that all American soldiers are targeted for disinterment and an identification. But they may also made the decisions that all Philippine scouts and the families of the Philippine scouts are eligible for the same service. If it's the filleting part of the regular Philippine Army. They're not, unfortunately, But if and each one of these 30 names are what each one waas the Philippine scouts so they are eligible for all of the DP a service is that we've been talking about, and that's really important. And I hope that someday we can dip Airman, at least move those other 10 were.
Yeah, The nice thing about that. Yeah, that, you know, the Philippine Scouts were were actually in American, assigned as American units, and there was in some of the United States is responsible for identifying, like, you were saying, identifying and dissent during those remains and returning them to the family. Uh, the other good thing about this, this whole situation with with your case is ah, those other 13 men are. You have the enlisted Philippine scouts. They do have ah, genealogists there in the Philippines that I'm sure that the army will task with trying to identify the descendants of those But those men.
so. I I hope so, because I tried, at least with respect of the three Phillipe name that I know I've tried to contact their family members or even find out who they are. I'm not and not had any luck, But But anyway, there's a lot of work out there to be done. And what another thing about this thing is is that I hope in the the people that I've heard on your podcast and I honor each one of them for all of the incredible work that they've been doing. I know one is created websites and sharing a Google drives, which is incredible. But I hope that each one of us we were going down this journey put something in print and it puts it out there to share with others because I don't know if my journey will be of any help, but I've met a lot of amazing people. I've examined nun and he talked about all the databases that I I had to look at to work through this mystery. All of that. All of those sites, all those links, all of those descriptions why I used why didn't use it. All of those will be in the book.
Oh, that's gonna be a heck of a resource than
Well, I I hope so. And I My plan is that it will be in print. Maybe sometime in the summer.
Okay, well, is can people contact you directly by email?
They may. And my email is easy. It is just my name actually is calc a l dot b o a r d And they end for my name cale dot Boardman. Well, that's not my middle name,
at gmail dot com.
All right, Cal Diary Wardman in gmail dot com. That's
it. So they're welcome. I I would love to hear problem and share what information I have. And after all, if I can If I can pass on a little of the help that I received, it would be well worth it.
Yeah, it's an amazing journey that you went through.
So good work to you, John. I think these podcasts are wonderful.
I guess I should add the vote. Those of you who don't know Abby Abraham, as I recommended. Oh, God. Where are you? Also, I'd recommend listening to that one. Maybe all of, but particularly that one bought gas on John site where a B. Abraham is actually interviewed. He's not identified, but you will be unmistakable. You'll hear this rough. Oh, Oh, boy. they're just eggs. Um, respect. It exudes tenderness. And And I wished I would have had the opportunity to shake that guy's fan. That's it. It's on jobs. Podcast. So once, I hope. If you haven't heard that, listen to that guy. He's Mikey. Go.
Yeah, he did amazing work, and he's He was the one responsible for dis intern. Thousands and thousands of American and Filipino scouts and, uh, the work he did. I don't know how he managed to do what he did. Yeah, and and keep the records that he did. And then all of the same time, he was actually told he had to go to the trial of General Home of the Japanese and tried and executed for yeah, the war crimes
that any talks about that in your interview?
He does, you know.
Oh, and surprise me. Talk about it at the kangaroo court here. This guy is still being your reverence. I do love it.
Exactly. Yeah, that was Episode seven on my podcast where I compiled the interviews. A lot of the POWs. You survived.
Yeah, and and of course, he I think he probably said that tongue in cheek, but but there was. You know, Homo was e wasn't. I won't editorialize. You listen to it for
yourself. Exactly. Exactly. Well, the interesting thing you know that that he be brought up in that interview was he didn't want to see general home and tried for the Bataan Death March and atrocities that happened on the march. He was We were angry about the stuff that happened in the camps. Yeah, so
yeah, it's great. It's a great story. And my aunt, my respect and honor Thio all the man you lost lives and and I And of course I will. Someday one of those X files that the D p. A. Has said they're going to disinter will be matched up to the DNA samples in my family. And then it. Someday I'll be ableto the company Lieutenant Carol Cocoons made to ethanol fan Thio unburied and buried them forever next to my father. Military cemetery. Do such an amazing job. And one in Frances is a special place to me, as they all are. Sure, all families,
But that's my ultimate hope. We know that that's my own,
You know, one of the interesting things, you know, we're talking a little bit about Epinal France. You know the same our American cemetery there. There's a lot of locals, local French people that actually adopt those graves and take care of the maintain them. And has Has anybody, uh, kind of taken over your father's grave? Yes,
yes, they do. And every memorial day they come out. They like candles. They put flags up. Um, I'm in the process of trying to find the name of the family that adopted my father. I know it's happened. I just wanna thank them in person and while certainly bye bye letter mail. But hopefully someday in person be able to do that. And there, and there will be stars line directly moving made about Seventh Army, which was Patches Army. Uh, they didn't get all the headlines, but at Army did.
But with 70 70 it's division that my dad start of. This was part of this and there's there's a movie in the works and it's being generated and that I mentioned that this moving interest in fundraising is being generated by a woman who lives in ethanol and who helps coordinate the adoption program that you just mentioned I mean, it's it's amazing the commitment of the French people to the soldiers.
Do you have 75 years later and they're still, you know? Yeah. So appreciative Of what? Of the American, you know, the American and Canadian and other forces, you know, the Allied forces that came through. They're so appreciative what we did have. So
it's so humbling. Well, thanks, John. I've enjoyed being with you
again. I want to thank you, Cal for your time and telling us about your father's sacrifice for our country in France and for your uncle sacrifice in the Philippines during World War Two. I also want to thank our listeners for staying with us to the very end of this podcast. The exciting news that we wanted share has to do with this story and the remains of lieutenants Calhoun and Graves. The disinterment of these two graves marks the first modern disinterment of men who were killed in action during the fighting on Bataan that were possibly buried as unknowns at the Manila American Cemetery. It is with great hope for these two families that this research is spot on and these men will be identified. Thank you. for joining us. Thank you for listening to stories of sacrifice. World War Two American P O W M I. A's in the Philippines. This has been a production of the U S p o W m I A family locating you confined us on the Web at U S. P o W m i A family locating dot com opinions expressed in this podcast our own and given in the best intention overall, the p o w m I. A accounting community is doing what it can with limited resource is it is our hope additional federal funding will be provided along with additional partnerships established to disinter at process remains of our own knowns located in the national cemeteries. You can help by contacting your congressional representatives and asking that the implement a DNA leave policy for those unknown pow. Thank you for listening.
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