Last Hiroshima POW family found with help from newspaper, historian

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All 12 American POWs who died when the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima may have their names added to a memorial in time for an anniversary observance, thanks to efforts by one northeast Wisconsin woman.

Cathy Huber of Combined Locks was intrigued by a May 24 Appleton Post-Crescent report about the American prisoners of war — including Appleton native John J. Hantschel — the mystery surrounding their deaths and Japanese historian Shigeaki Mori's determination to have them memorialized on the Hiroshima Peace Park National Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

As of May 24, Mori had located all but Kentuckian Ralph Neal's family. Hantschel, whose niece The P-C tracked through marriage records, was No. 11. The story included Mori's appeal for help finding Neal, who had been a gunner on a B-29 called The Lonesome Lady.

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