Local Hero Coming Home After 80 Years!

Died as Prisoner of War After Bataan Death March 19-JUL 1942
Returning Home After 80 Years

Private Tash entered the U.S. Army from Missouri and served in F Company, 2nd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported on 26-SEP 1942, “James was wounded on th3e Bataan Peninsula on January 19 and according to word received by his mother from the War Department, returned to his foxhole for duty a week later.”

After Japanese forces invaded the Philippines in December 1941, intense fighting continued until the surrender of U.S. forces on the Bataan peninsula on 9-APR 1942, and Corregidor Island on 6-MAY 1942.  Private James Tash was among the U.S. personnel who surrendered in Bataan. These prisoners were then subjected to the 65-mile Bataan Death March and held in inhumane conditions at the Cabanatuan POW camp.

“According to prison camp and other historical records, Private Tash died 19-JUL 1942, and was buried along with other deceased prisoners in the local Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in a Common Grave. Following the war, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) personnel exhumed those buried at the Cabanatuan cemetery and relocated the remains to a temporary U.S. military mausoleum near Manila.

In 1947, the AGRS examined the remains attempting to identify them. Twelve of the sets of remains from Common Grave 312 were identified, but the rest were declared unidentifiable. The unidentified remains were buried at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial (MACM) as Unknowns. In early 2018, the remains associated with Common Grave 312 were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for study. The laboratory analysis and the totality of the circumstantial evidence available established an association between one set of these unknown remains and Private Tash.”

James Roy Tash will be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on 7-APR 2023. Editor’s note: From Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.