Ironwood World War II veteran to be buried after 77 years


IRONWOOD, Mich. (WJMN) – Walter J. Kellett of Ironwood, Michigan, was killed on July 19, 1942 and remained unaccounted for until July 23, 2019. Kellett was just 22-years-old at the time. He was serving as a Corporal with the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

Kellett was a member of the 17th Pursuit Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group when Japan invaded the Philippine Islands. He was reported as one of thousands captured and interned at prisoner of war camps. More than 2,500 POW’s died at the Cabanatuan camp along with Kellett during the war. When he passed away on July 19, 1942, he was buried at a camp cemetery.

Those buried were removed in 1947 in an attempt to identify the deceased prisoners. Their remains sat unidentified until May 2018. Following DNA and other methods of testing, remains belonging to Corporal Kellett were identified.

A funeral for Walter Kellett is planned for Saturday, October 5 in Ironwood.

You can read more about him and the process to identify him, here.

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