Walter Rea McCuen

Prisoner
Walter Rea McCuen, Machinist's Mate Second Class, United States Navy, who was reported missing in action last summer, is a prisoner of war in the Philippine Islands, according to word just received by his father, W. B. McCuen of Osseo. This information, sent by Randall Jacobs, Chief of Navy Personnel, was received in an official cablegram from the International Red Cross in Tokyo. 

Young McCuen was born in Manning, IA in March 1918, while his father was in service in the First World War. 

He enlisted in the Navy in March 1939 and received his training at Great Lakes, IL. After two years on a battleship, he was transferred to the submarine tender, Canopus. The last letter received from him arrived on November 8, 1941 from Manila, Philippine Islands.


Killed Off China on Japanese Ship
WALTER McCUEN, MM 2/C 
Walter Rea McCuen, Machinist's Mate Second Class, who had been reported missing in action, died October 24, 1944 on a Japanese prisoner of war ship, according to a dispatch received by his father, W. B. McCuen of Osseo, from the Navy Department.

A letter from the casualty department to Mr. McCuen reads in part:

"It has been ascertained that on October 11, 1944, your son, who had been held captive by the Japanese in the Bilibid Prisoner of War Camp, Philippine Islands, was placed onboard a Japanese freighter, apparently en route to Japan. On October 24, 1944, this ship, which bore no mark to indicate it was carrying prisoners of war, was torpedoed and sunk off Shoonann, China. Records maintained by the Japanese authorities in the Philippine Islands have come into the possession of the United States Naval personnel, and these records reveal that Petty Officer McCuen did not survive the sinking."

He was born at Manning, Iowa in March 1918 and was graduated from Atlantic High School in 1937. He entered the Navy in March 1939 and received his training at Great Lakes, IL and later on a battleship. He had been a prisoner of war.