The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today Marine Corps Capt. Lester A. Schade, 27, of Abbotsford, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 26, 2018.
(This identification was initially announced on Aug. 28, 2018.)
In April 1942, Schade, a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, when he was captured by enemy forces and held as a prisoner of war in the Philippine Islands. On Dec. 14, 1944, more than 1,600 Allied prisoners were loaded aboard a Japanese transport en route to Japan. The ship was attacked by American carrier planes, killing a number of American prisoners. Survivors were transported aboard two other ships to Formosa, present day Taiwan, where they were loaded onto another ship, Enoura Maru, which was also attacked by American carrier planes. According to records Schade was aboard the Enoura Maru when it was attacked Jan. 9, 1945, and was listed as missing, presumed dead as a result of the incident.
While survivors of the Enoura Maru bombing reported that the bodies of the men killed on the ship were cremated by the Japanese and buried at Takao Harbor, historical evidence indicates that not all the remains were cremated. One survivor stated that the Japanese suspended the cremation prior to completion.
The American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) recovered remains from graves and a cemetery around Takao in May and June 1946. The remains, which could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including one set, designated Formosa X-546A.
On Oct. 31, 2017, following thorough historical research and analysis by DPAA historians, X-546A was disinterred from the Punchbowl for analysis.
To identify Schade’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as historical and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,917 service members still unaccounted for from World War II (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable). Schade’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines, along with the other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For family information, contact the Marine Corps Service Casualty office at (800) 847-1597.
Schade will be buried May 11, 2019, in his hometown.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.
Schade’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000000OlXjsEAF