LTC Arch Moller McKeever was killed in action while a prisoner of war of the Japanese Government during World War II.
Born in Spokane, Washington on October 4, 1896, McKeever practiced law in that city from 1920. He had been very active as a Reserve judge advocate in the Officers Reserve Corps in the 1920s and 30s. From 1925 to 1926, then 1st Lt. McKeever served at Camp Anthony, Topeka, Kansas. In the early 1930s, he performed active duty for training at Fort Lewis, Washington, where he reviewed general courts-martial for legal sufficiency. In the late 1930s, McKeever served as a Reserve judge advocate captain in the Civilian Conservation Corps district headquarters at Fort George Wright, Washington. When he was called to active duty on April 17, 1941, McKeever was promoted to major and assigned as an Assistant Department Judge Advocate in the Philippine Islands.
After the outbreak of World War II, McKeever moved from Manila to Corregidor and, in late December 1941, he took command of the replacement depot on Bataan. This replacement unit received men discharged from the hospital, stragglers, and Filipino civilians. The military personnel were reassigned to organizations as replacements and the civilians were evacuated to a main civilian camp. As the depot commander, McKeever supervised the mess, sanitation and sleeping arrangements of all personnel, and arranged for their transport.
About January 1, 1942, McKeever was assigned as Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, Mindanao Force and promoted to lieutenant colonel. McKeever remained in this position until the surrender of the Philippine Islands in May 1942. He was then taken prisoner by the Japanese.
McKeever died when the SS Oryoku Maru, a Japanese prisoner of war ship on which McKeever was being transported, was bombed and sunk by American aircraft in Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, on December 15, 1944. McKeever was one of 942 American prisoners of war who lost their lives that day.
On November 12, 2008, LTC McKeever's stained glass pane was dedicated in the Hall of Heroes.