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Remains of WWII soldier from Colorado identified, to be buried in Florence

FLORENCE, Colo. — A 25-year-old prisoner of war from Colorado who died during World War II was finally accounted for in late 2023, and his remains will be buried at a cemetery in Florence this month.

U.S. Army Tech. 5 Clifford H. Strickland, of Fowler, Colorado, was a member of Company C, 803rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation) when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Thousands of service members, including Strickland, were captured and interned at prisoner of war camps after U.S. forces in Bataan surrendered to the Japanese.

The prisoners of war were also forced on the 65-mile Bataan Death March and were then held at the Cabanatuan POW camp, where more than 2,500 of them died.

Tech 5 Clifford H. Strickland.jpg

U.S. Army

Clifford H. Strickland

Based on historical records, Strickland died on July 29, 1942, the DPAA said, and was buried at the local Cabanatuan Camp Cemetery in Common Grave 215.

He was 25 years old.

DPAA scientists used dental and anthropological analysis to identify his remains. He was officially accounted for on Dec. 20, 2023 after his remains were disinterred from the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in 2018.

Strickland will be interred June 29 at Union Highland Cemetery in Florence. T.G. McCarthy Funeral Home in Pueblo will perform a graveside service, DPAA said.

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