WWII Marine Corps Captain Lester A. Schade Returns Home After Nearly 75 Years

(OnFocus) Marine Corps Captain Lester A. Schade is finally home, after being killed in combat more than 70 years ago.

A reinterment service at Abbotsford Cemetery with Full Military Honors, facilitated by the U.S. Marine Corps and Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home, took place today in honor of Schade.

As Schade’s casket was transported to the cemetery, community members stood alongside HWY 13 to pay tribute to the fallen hero American hero. Members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to standing guard over veterans and other public safety members’ funerals, also traveled with the hearse and remained at the cemetery until after the service. Rev. Mark Krueger officiated the service.

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Schade was born May 30, 1917 in the town of Holton, Marathon County, Wisconsin. He graduated from Dorchester High School in 1935. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin (1939) he entered the Officers Training School in Philadelphia, PA. In June 1940, he left for the Philippine Islands.

The 27-year old U.S. Marine was taken prisoner of war (POW) by the Japanese during the invasion of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines in May of 1942.

He survived the “Bataan Death March” and imprisonment at Cabanatuan Prison Camp No. 1. His death was the result of an attack on the unmarked Japanese transport ship “Enoura Maru” – referred to as a hellship – by American carrier planes in Takao Harbor, Formosa -present day Taiwan.

Capt. Schade was listed as “Lost at Sea” until January 1947 when a mass grave near Takao City was exhumed. Later these remains were transferred to Hawaii and interred in Unknown Grave No. 423 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Subsequently in 2017, the remains were disinterred and in August 2018 the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced their identification as Lester A. Schade. Also instrumental in this process was a nonprofit organization, WFI Research Group, which has focused its efforts on identifying remains of missing service members.

Capt. Schade’s parents, Richard and Margaret Schade are interred in the Abbotsford Cemetery and adjacent to their headstone is a marker for Lester inscribed ‘Our Dear Son – Lost at Sea’. Lester had two brothers, Ernest and Clarence who are no longer living.

Surviving are the children of Ernest and Marguerite, Wayne R. (Diane), Patricia A. (Dennis Bowen) and Elaine M. (Ronald Gosse). In addition several great-nieces and nephews and great-grand nieces and nephews of Lester reside in Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin. Clarence and Marion (Scholtz) had no children. Also surviving is 1st cousin once removed, John J. Blahnik (Sharon) of Washburn, Wisconsin who provided valuable assistance in the discernment and reinterment process for Lester.

For more information on Schade’s life, please visit the Clark County History Buff’s website, here: https://www.wiclarkcountyhistory.org/5data/119/119980.htm. Posted with permission.