Tokyo Military Prison Fire
14 January 2022

Page 1



Sometime during 2015 or 2016 Michael Krehl discovered that his
grandfather was Sgt Leonard James McNeill.

Nobody in his family had ever told him.

Sgt McNeill is one of the 37 Unidentified Prisoners of War
who perished by burning at
the Tokyo Military Prison the night of 25-26 May 1945.

That night there were 62 POWs in the Prison.
Scheduled was a B-29 incendiary mission, target Tokyo.

The prison caught fire and about 300 Japanese prisoners were released from their cells.
The B-29 men were physically forced into remaining in their cells.
All 62 POWs died.

By 1949, 25 of these POWs had been identified and
their remains buried in
cemeteries ranging from
Hawaii to the East Coast of the United States.

As of this date, 14 January 2022,
there are 37 who remain unidentified.

Their official status is
Killed in Action - Remains Not Recoverable
( KIA - RNR )

For the past 5-7 years Michael has been working intensely
to have these men identified.

His efforts have resulted in the
Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency ( DPAA )
granting Michael's request.

Below are the names of the 62 men who died in the Prison.

DNA samples have been collected from
many of the families of THE 37 Unidentified.

In addition to numerous letters, in 2021 Michael and some of the
family members were able to meet with a few U.S. Senators.

From this initial meeting are letters from
the DPAA allowing Michael's request to be granted.

Formal approval took place between
15 December 2021 and 6 January 2022.

These letters appear in pages 2 and 3.