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Cassville Soldier's Remains To Be Interred At Arlington National Cemetery

U.S. Army

The remains of a soldier from Cassville, MO who was killed during World War II will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on September 13.

Army Sgt. John V. Phillips was a member of Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December, 1941, according to a news release.  Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan Peninsula on April 9, 1942 and of Corregidor Island on May 6 of that year.

Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members, including Phillips, were captured and interned at POW campus after the surrender of Corregidor.  They were held captive at the Cabanatuan POW camp.  According to historical records, Phillips died on July 27, 1942.  He was buried along with other prisoners who had died in the local Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in Common Grave 225.  After the war, their remains were exhumed and relocated to a temporary U.S. military mausoleum near Manila. 

Attempts by investigators in 1947 to identify the remains were unsuccessful, due to limited identification technologies at the time, and they were interred as “unknowns” in the present-day Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. In March 2018, remains associated with Common Grave 225 were disinterred and sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.

Phillips was accounted for by the DPAA on Dec. 11, 2019, after his remains were identified using circumstantial evidence, as well as, dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis, according to the news release.

His name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, an American Battle Monuments Commission, in the Philippines, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Funeral services for Phillips will be held before he is interred at Arlington.