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Business News/ News / World/  Did Joe Biden's uncle fall victim to cannibals in New Guinea? US President shares story
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Did Joe Biden's uncle fall victim to cannibals in New Guinea? US President shares story

Joe Biden recounted the story of his uncle Ambrose Finnegan, a World War II veteran whose plane crashed in New Guinea. Biden suggested Finnegan may have been eaten by cannibals, but official records state he died in a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean due to engine failure.

US President Joe Biden speaks to supporters and volunteers during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)Premium
US President Joe Biden speaks to supporters and volunteers during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

US President Joe Biden while sharing a personal story about his uncle Ambrose Finnegan who served in the Pacific campaign during World War II and said that he might have fallen victim to cannibals after his plane was shot down over New Guinea. His comments came after his visit to the missing-in-action war memorial in his childhood home city of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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While speaking to reporters in Scranton moments after visiting the granite memorial, he said "He (Finnegan, the brother of Biden's mother) flew single-engine planes, reconnaissance flights over New Guinea. He had volunteered because someone couldn't make it. He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time."

"They never recovered his body. But the government went back, when I went down there, and they checked and found some parts of the plane and the like," he said.

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In a seperate event, Biden again repeated the story of his uncle in response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's 2020 remark that "suckers and losers" perish in battle. 

However, Biden's comments does not match to the US government's record of missing persons. The government's record does not does not attribute Finnegan's death to hostile action or indicate cannibals were any factor.

What does US government official record say?

According to the Pentagon's Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Biden's uncle, died on May 14, 1944, while a passenger on an Army Air Forces plane that, “for unknown reasons," was forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean off the northern coast of New Guinea. “Both engines failed at low altitude, and the aircraft’s nose hit the water hard," the agency states in its listing of Finnegan. “Three men failed to emerge from the sinking wreck and were lost in the crash."

 

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Published: 19 Apr 2024, 12:52 PM IST
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