Over the next few weeks and months we are bringing you a series of stories researched and written by our friends at BataanMissing.com. From casualties to cover ups at all levels of our government and newly declassified documents that just might shed some light on a 70 year mystery, with the hope it may bring a few more of our Nation’s Missing in Action heroes home.
For more information on this story and copies of the declassified file please visit - http://bataanmissing.com/2020/04/21/1lt-ira-cheaney-dsc/
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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 as active pursuit by the Defense POW AM I 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 affixed the label. The collected samples are then placed in a pre addressed and prepaid envelope and then meld 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 US POW 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 today's story of sacrifice. World War two. American POW M. I. A's podcast. Over the next few weeks and months, we're bringing you a series of stories researched and written by our friends at the Bataan missing dot com website. From casualties to cover ups at all levels of our government, a newly declassified documents that just might shed some light on a 70 year mystery with the hope that it made may bring a few more of our nation's missing in action heroes home. So who was buried in Cheney's grave? A disgraced commander tries to rehabilitate his reputation. Many readers air familiar with First Lieutenant Alexander Sandy as he was called by his family. Linenger, the first man awarded the Medal of Honor and World War Two. Not so many know of his best friend, first Lieutenant Ira Cheney, recipient of the Distinguished Service, cross their stories. Air is intertwined and death as they were in life. What follows is one chapter in a story of a great heroism, offset by total bungling and corruption by the US government that continues to this day. In early January, 1940 to both men and you're and Cheney were assigned to the 57th Infantry Red Regiment of the Philippine Scouts. At that time, the 57th was assigned to hold the East Moors portion of the main lighter liner resistance on Bataan that ran through the optic a hacienda on the east coast of the Bataan Peninsula to the Jason Sector held by the 31st Infantry Regiment. Engagements of 11 and 12 January 1942 were costly to the 57th Infantry Regiment, costing the lives of six lieutenants in over 40 enlisted men, including First Lieutenant Alan Alexander, Ninja, First lieutenant David W. W. Maynard, First Lieutenant Arthur Baby Green, First Lieutenant John C. Compton and First Lieutenant Kenneth L. Wilson. It was during this time, and Imager was killed in the engagement that earned him the first Medal of Honor of Water. Didn't World War Two. These were the very early days of the war. Soon after Pearl, after the Pearl Harbor attack, and things were not going well for America, the country needed a hero, and Sandy manager was the right man for the job. American public needed a morale boost, and manager received the nation's highest award with even more than just the usual fanfare. Unfortunately, award seems to have consigned his remains to a grave known only to God in the face of unrest. Run remaining Japanese assault. U. S. Forces withdrew from the advocate line to the new positions on the night of 24 25 January, leaving no act of American forces in the village. Within days, the 57th Regiment deployed to the southwest coast of Bataan to repel a Siris of Japanese landings known as the Battle of the Points assigned a company B of the 57th Infantry First tenant Cheney deployed Clinton Point. It was during this engagement on 30 31 January 1942 that First Lieutenant Cheney was killed, not in the town of Sabha K. On 78 February, when U. S forces finally retook the area, Captain Eugene Anthony, commander of B company, visually identified the body of First Lieutenant Cheney. Second Lieutenant Fred Coe, a Graves registration officer. The 45th Regiment told Captain and Anthony that the remains would be taken to the U. S Army Cemetery and Marv E. Alice, roughly 10 miles away on the southern southern tip of the peninsula. Unfortunately, he did not specify which of the 10 cemeteries in the Marvel Dallas area he planned to take the remains to. This is where things began to go wrong, really badly wrong. After the war, Cheney's family, quite rightfully wanted his remains returned for Barrett burial at his alma mater, the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, New York They had been told by their sons, former former regimental commander Colonel Clark, that he had been buried at buried in the churchyard at Alba K. Colonel Clarke, who had been relieved of his command, made it a point to contact the families of several young officers who had perished under his command. The rather self serving stories he told the families, perhaps in hopes of repairing his sullied reputation or perhaps to comfort the families, got a few details wrong. Clark told the families that their sons have been buried in the advocate churchyard. Unfortunately, Clark was no longer on Bataan when those who died at Abu Que were buried and they were actually buried in the Advocate town cemetery. Just a little detail. That was to have huge ramifications in the case of Lieutenant Ira Cheney. He died more than two weeks after Colonel Clarke was relieved of his command and the advocate engagements. At the time of Cheney's death, the town advocate was held by the enemy, and he could not have been buried anywhere near there. When the U. S Army fell to provide a reasonable response to the families enquiries, the Cheney family contacted their congressman, a young Richard M. Nixon, who is making quite a name for himself in the time several of the other families of those who had perished. It advocate engagements and also spoken with Colonel Clarke and demanded answers from the Army and the congressional representatives U. S. Army wanting to please the families and their congressional representatives quickly, Exume. Some of the remains from advocate churchyard would no other evidence except Clark's description of the location of the grave in 12 steps from the door of the church. The remains were identified as those of Ira Cheney and buried at West Point in the post cemetery. The Army, obviously aware some discrepancies, conducted a fairy fairly thorough investigation to try to sort things out and determine who they had buried at West Point. Ultimately, they determined that the West Point grave contained the remains, not of Cheney, but either Nen injure or First Lieutenant David Maynard. That was a problem, as finding endure buried in Cheney's grave would make the Army look like a bunch of bungling boobs. So the government decided to do the right thing. At least it was the right thing for the guilty. They made sure all the witnesses told the official story, then upgraded the file classification from confidential to secret and hid the file away for the next 60 plus years. Great idea buried the report as a defense secret until everybody retires in 2018. The file documenting the Army's investigation, which was filed under Cheney's name rather than injure, was perhaps accidentally declassified and released to the public. The erroneous information provided by Colonel Clarke was to have ramifications reaching far beyond just Ira Cheney's case. Well, this concludes today's part of the Siri's. Be sure to listen to next week's episode. For more on this story. Thank you for listening to stories of sacrifice. World War two, American POW 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 can find 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 POW am 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 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 DNA leave policy for those unknown pow. Thank you for listening.