The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pvt. Charlie M. Waid, 26, of Chico, California, killed during World War II, was accounted for July 24, 2019.
In 1942, Waid was serving in the Medical Detachment of the 31st Infantry Regiment when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and of Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942.
Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members were taken prisoner and sent to prisoner of war camps. Waid was among those reported captured after the surrender of Corregidor and held at the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the war.
According to prison camp and other historical records, Waid died Nov. 19, 1942, and was buried along with fellow prisoners in the local Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in grave number 717.
Following the war, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) personnel exhumed those buried at the Cabanatuan cemetery and relocated the remains to a temporary U.S. military mausoleum near Manila. In late 1947, the AGRS examined the remains in an attempt to identify them. Due to the circumstances of the POW deaths and burials, the extensive commingling, and the limited identification technologies of the time, all of the remains could not be individually identified. The unidentified remains were interred as “unknowns” in the present-day Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.
In 2014, the “unknown” remains associated with Common Grave 717 were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis, including one set, designated X-4852 Manila Mausoleum.
To identify Waid’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Waid’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, an American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) site along with others missing from WWII. Although interred as an “unknown” in Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Waid’s grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the ABMC. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
DPAA is grateful to the ABMC for their partnership in this mission.
Waid will be buried in Hollywood Hills, California. The date has yet to be determined.