An Army soldier taken as a prisoner of war during World War II has been accounted for, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Pvt. Leroy M. Slenker was a member of the 75th Ordnance Depot Company in the Philippines in late 1941. He was captured and died as a prisoner of war, according to the agency.
Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Allied forces fought to hold them off but within weeks retreated to Bataan on General Douglas MacArthur’s orders. Intense fighting on the island continued for months, until U.S. and Filipino forces were forced to surrender at the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942 and then at Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942.
The Japanese captured tens of thousands of American and Filipino service members and held them as prisoners of war, forcing many to march 65 miles from the Bataan Peninsula to a prisoner camp in what is now known as the Bataan Death March. The men marched in blistering heat and were given very little water or food, according to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The agency did not specify how Slenker was accounted for, but the agency renewed efforts to identify Americans killed in WWII in the 1970s. Investigators collect evidence and conduct excavations at WWII loss sites each year.