Service Number: 280445
Birth and Early Life:
Virgil Bunn was born in July, 1918; he was the son of Virgil and Anna Bunn of Glenmary, Tennessee. Tragedy visited the Bunn family frequently; Virgil Senior died in 1921, and two-year-old Anna Reva died in 1923. Mother Anna and young Virgil moved to, Ohio; he would give Dayton as his hometown upon enlisting. (1)
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Bunn joined the Marines on January 9, 1940; after completing boot camp at MCRD San Diego, he was assigned to duty with the Marine Barracks at Mare Island Navy Yard.
Service Prior to 1941:
Bunn was transferred to Cavite Navy Yard in July 1940; he served there for the balance of the year.
Virgil Bunn was promoted to Private First Class in 1941. When the Fourth Marines arrived in the Philippines to prepare defenses, Bunn’s garrison was absorbed into the regiment as the Third Battalion; Bunn himself became part of Company L.
Bunn’s part in the defense of the Philippines is a mystery; he last appears on American records on April 9, 1942, the day that Bataan fell to the Japanese.
Date Of Loss:
The date of Bunn’s death is similarly unknown. The DPMO Missing In Action list claims he died on April 9. However, the National Archives and Roger Mansell’s exhaustively researched POW list state that Bunn was indeed captured, and was alive as late as August, 1942. When determining Bunn’s eligibility for a Prisoner of War Medal, the government considered him dead as of October 9, 1942, though NARA’s database gives a date of October 7. (2)
Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Anna G. Bunn
Status Of Remains:
Unknown. Bunn’s remains are presumed to rest in an unknown location in the Philippines.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
(1) Bunn’s unusual middle name has given rise to a number of spellings; the most common are “Sceburn” and “Sqebuen.”
(2) To complicate matters, Bunn does not appear on the muster roll of the Fourth Marines compiled after the war. He does appear on this listing, which also claims him as a prisoner at Cabanatuan, Philippines.