Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

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Mori
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Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Mori » 05 Dec 2021 22:13

Hello everyone,

I'm having a look the US Army battle casualties report (https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA438106).

On pages 54-55 are mentioned 1 US general captured by the Germans (and later liberated) as well as 2 generals MIA, one of them declared dead and the other returned to duty.

I can't figure out who these 3 gentlemen were. Must be well known cases, but my memory fails me. Can you give me a hand?
(I assume that general Rose, who was shot a few seconds after surrendering to a German tank crew, is listed as KIA rather than MIA & declared dead).

Thanks.

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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by OpanaPointer » 05 Dec 2021 23:32

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Mori
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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Mori » 06 Dec 2021 09:21

Not going to bother CMH with what is plain curiosity. As there were ca. 200 generals in field positions during the NW Europe campaign, I am hoping that someone has an idea who these 3 are.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Dec 2021 12:42

One was a Air Force Brigadier Gen who survived a bomber shoot down over Europe. His name may have been Varnum.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Sheldrake » 06 Dec 2021 14:52

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
06 Dec 2021 12:42
One was a Air Force Brigadier Gen who survived a bomber shoot down over Europe. His name may have been Varnum.
One notable Eighth Air Force casualty was Brigadier General Arthur W. Vanaman, Chief of Intelligence, who was captured by the Germans near Aveluy, France, (close to Amiens) on 27 June 1944, becoming the highest-ranked American POW of the war.wikipedia.

My guess is the other two MIA were in aircraft lost over the sea.
One is Brigadier General Charles L. Keerans, Jr. (U.S. Army) Assistant Division Commander, 82nd Airborne Division. MIA June 11, 1943, later declared dead, when his stick was shot down by friendly fire.

Were any other general officers missing after similar incidents but survived?

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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by wwilson » 06 Dec 2021 19:05

Another MIA who was declared dead (in Mediterranean Theater? Not sure where the aircraft went down.)
On 5 May 1942, when the Eighth Air Force was sent overseas, General Duncan also was ordered to the European Theater of Operations and there served as Chief of Staff, under Major General Carl Spaatz, the new commander of the Eighth Air Force – a position he was still holding at the time he was reported missing in action on November 17, 1942. General Duncan was a passenger on a B-17 travelling from the United Kingdom to Gibraltar that crashed in the ocean, killing all aboard.
https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies ... th-duncan/

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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by reedwh52 » 06 Dec 2021 21:32

The two MIA would appear to be Charles L Keerans (Army) and Kenneth Walker (USAAF).

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency at https://www.dpaa.mil/Our-Missing/World- ... wing-WWII/ has listings by service of missing and unrecovered personnel from WW II.



The USAAF listing reflects:
1) Duncan, Asa N Brigadier General 8th AF (Europe) Nov 17, 1942 Missing, ? if classed MIAB17 crash between England & Gibraltar
2) Anderson, James R Brigadier General USAAF POA Missing, not MIA
3) Harmon, Millard Lt General USAAF POA Missing, not MIA
Both Anderson & Harmon were missing after disappearance of C-87 on February 26, 1945 between Kwajelin & Hawaii

4) Loutenheiser, Joe L Brigadier General 8th AF (Pacific) B.29 crash Oct 7, 1945 Missing, not MIA
5) Walker, Kenneth Brigadier General 5th AF (Pacific) Jan 5, 1943 Leading Bombing Raid MIA

The Navy listing reflects 1 lost at sea and 3 killed in ship sinkings.
The Army listing reflects Guy O Fort and Vicente Lim, both executed by the Japanese (Remains unrecovered)(Fort may not have been a General Officer)
and the afore mentioned BG Keerans, Charles L.

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Dwight Pruitt
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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Dwight Pruitt » 07 Dec 2021 02:19

BG Nathan Bedford Forrest III was MIA for a time during 1943 but his body was later recovered by the Germans

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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Dec 2021 05:43

The context of pages 54-55 is the ETOUSA, the Pacific theaters are not counted. There was one general officer captured and later returned to military control, Brigadier General Arthur W. Vanaman.

There were two general officers missing in action, with one declared dead and one returned to duty. One is Brigadier General Charles L. Keerans, Jr., who was missing in action and later declared dead, is one of them.

The question remains who was the ETOUSA general officer first declared missing in action who later returned to duty? I suspect it would be a USAAF officer shot down who evaded, but I cannot track down who it might be.
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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Dec 2021 05:45

Dwight Pruitt wrote:
07 Dec 2021 02:19
BG Nathan Bedford Forrest III was MIA for a time during 1943 but his body was later recovered by the Germans
Yes, but the reference is to someone missing in action that returned to duty. Thus they were not dead, nor were they captured, since captured personnel liberated at the end of the war were "returned to military control" rather than returned to duty.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Mori
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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by Mori » 07 Dec 2021 17:04

Thanks everyone for these detailed data. I didn't know about the 8AF Chief of Intelligence captured end of June, for example.
Last edited by Mori on 08 Dec 2021 11:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who were the 3 captured or MIA US generals?

Post by LineDoggie » 07 Dec 2021 23:34

Sheldrake wrote:
06 Dec 2021 14:52
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
06 Dec 2021 12:42
One was a Air Force Brigadier Gen who survived a bomber shoot down over Europe. His name may have been Varnum.
One notable Eighth Air Force casualty was Brigadier General Arthur W. Vanaman, Chief of Intelligence, who was captured by the Germans near Aveluy, France, (close to Amiens) on 27 June 1944, becoming the highest-ranked American POW of the war.wikipedia.
European theater maybe, but Lieutenant General Wainwright of USAFFE was the highest ranking US POW of the war.

Image
American generals in captivity, July 1942. Seated, left to right: Generals Moore, King, and Wainwright; two Japanese officers; Generals Parker and Jones. Standing, left to right: Japanese messenger; Generals Lough, Funk, Weaver, Brougher, Beebe, Bluemel, Drake, McBride, and Pierce; Colonel Hoffman (interpreter)
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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