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DPAA In The News

News 2 | June 30, 2024

WWII POW honored by Coloradans on his final journey home

By Kayla Henderson

After 82 years, Army Air Forces Technician Fifth Grade Clifford Harley Strickland, a WWII POW (Prisoner of War) from Colorado, is finally coming home. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency confirmed his identification on December 20, 2023.

Strickland enlisted in the Army in April of 1940, more than a year before the United States entered the war. He wrote to his family from Angel Island in California in July of that year, preparing them for a prolonged absence as he embarked on his military journey. However, they could not have prepared for just how long that absence would be.

The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, marked a turning point. Caught off guard, American forces in the Philippines, including Strickland’s unit, suffered devastating losses. Following the invasion, Strickland was one of over 75,000 prisoners subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March -- a brutal ordeal that claimed thousands of lives both during the 6-day trek, and after.

Strickland succumbed to disease and malnutrition in a Japanese internment camp, passing away on July 29, 1942. He was initially buried in a mass grave alongside several other missing soldiers.

For the full story, follow this link: Strickland