Ora Kenneth Keeler (c.1916 - 1943)

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Death: Died in Wake Island
Cause of death: civilian POW murdered by the Japanese Army
Occupation: carpenter employed in construction work
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:
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About Ora Kenneth Keeler

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Birth: unknownDeath: Oct. 7, 1943 Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, 4 Jan 1946:

Word was received this week by the family of Ora Kenneth Keeler, Waterloo (Black Hawk Co, Iowa, carpenter employed in construction work on Wake Island at the time of the Japanese attack on the United States, which leads them to believe that Keeler was one of the 98 men massacred by the Japanese on Oct. 7, 1943.

According to the Waterloo man's mother, Augusta (Anderson) Keeler, Oelwein, Ia., records of the contractors (Morrison-Knudsen) personnel reveal that her son was not evacuated from Wake Island.

Keeler was originally presumed to be a prisoner of war, according to a Navy announcement in February 1942. No further word has been received from the government.

A son of Ora H. Keeler, 240 Evans road (Waterloo IA), Keeler, who would be 33 now, left for Wake Island in September, 1941.

Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, 8 Jan 1946:

American marines on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese on 24DEC1941 with almost a 1,000 American civilian construction workers included in the surrender. Evidently KEELER was one of those later executed by the Japanese. On 18JUN1947, Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara, who had ordered the executions, was himself hung by the Americans.

Ora K. Keeler, brother of Miss Eva Keeler of Oelwein (IA), was one of 98 persons massacred by the Japanese on Wake Island, the navy told his father, L. K (Ora H.). Keeler of Waterloo (IA).

A carpenter, Keeler went to Wake to do construction work in September 1941. He was 33. No word has been received from or concerning him since the fall of the island.

Inscription: Civilian

Note: Civilian from Iowa. Burial: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu Honolulu County Hawaii, USA Plot: Wake Island Defenders Group, G68

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Ora Keeler's Timeline

October 7, 1943
Age 27
Wake Island
Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA