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  4. Biden claims cannibals ate his war veteran uncle after being shot down during WWII. Is it true?

Biden claims cannibals ate his war veteran uncle after being shot down during WWII. Is it true?

Irrespective of Biden's claim, the evidence claimed that his 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.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Pennsylvania Updated on: April 18, 2024 11:04 IST
Biden looking at his uncle's name on the wall
Image Source : AP Biden looking at his uncle's name on the wall

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday visited a memorial near his Pennsylvania hometown to honour his late uncle’s service in World War II and said Donald Trump was unworthy of serving as commander in chief. A cannibal is someone who eats the flesh or internal organs of other humans. While in Pittsburgh, Biden spoke about his uncle 2nd Lt. Ambrose J. Finnegan Jr., aiming to draw a contrast with reports that Trump, while president, had called fallen service members "suckers" and "losers."

Finnegan, the brother of Biden's mother, "got shot down in New Guinea," Biden said. The president said Finnegan's body was never recovered and that “there used to be a lot of cannibals” in New Guinea. Biden, who told a version of the story earlier in the day after stopping by the memorial in Scranton, appeared to be off on key details.

VIDEO: Biden at Veterans War Memorial

“We have a tradition in my family my grandfather started,” said Biden, a toddler at the time of his uncle’s death in 1944. "When you visit a gravesite of a family member — it’s going to sound strange to you — but you say three Hail Marys. And that’s what I was doing at the site."

Referring to Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Biden said, "That man doesn’t deserve to have been the commander in chief for my son, my uncle.”

Biden's elder son, Beau, died in 2015 of brain cancer, which the president has stated he believes was linked to his son's yearlong deployment in Iraq, where the military used burn pits to dispose of waste.

Former Trump officials have claimed the then-president disparaged fallen service members as “suckers” and "losers” when, they said, he did not want to travel in 2018 to a cemetery for American war dead in France. Trump denied the allegation saying, “What animal would say such a thing?”

As for Biden's recollection of his uncle, there appears to be no record of Finnegan's death being the result of hostile action or any indication that cannibals played any role in the inability to recover his remains.

How did Biden's uncle die?

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Biden's uncle, known by the family as “Bosie,” 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. Three men failed to emerge from the sinking wreck and were lost in the crash,” the agency states in its listing of the missing airman.

The agency said Finnegan was a passenger on the plane when it was lost. "He has not been associated with any remains recovered from the area after the war and is still unaccounted for,” according to the agency. The White House did not immediately comment on the discrepancy between the agency’s records and Biden’s account.

The Democratic president also misstated when his uncles enlisted in the military, saying they joined “when D-Day occurred, the next day,” when they actually joined weeks after Pearl Harbor.

What does the evidence claim about Finnegan's death?

After Finnegan's death, a local newspaper published a telegram from Gen. Douglas MacArthur expressing condolences to Finnegan's family. "Dear Mr. Finnegan: In the death of your son, Second Lieutenant Ambrose J. Finnegan Jr., while in service of his country, you have my profound sympathy. Your consolation may be that he died in the uniform of our beloved country, serving in a crusade from which a better world for all will come. Very faithfully, Douglas MacArthur.”

Biden, in his 2008 book “Promises to Keep,” made only brief mention of his uncle, describing him as a flyer who was killed in New Guinea.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: 'What month did Beau die?' US President Joe Biden couldn’t even recall when his son died

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