Photo of the Week
October 18, 2021

As a follow up to last week's Iron Casket presentation I am posting two more photos and a bit of information provided by a CZ Images contributor Pedro Vangas.  He did some research and came up with this information.  We are continuing the research.

I researched this a bit when I first saw the pictures in the National Archives also, a couple of months ago.    

I stumbled across the Corozal American Cemetery website which led me to the fact that the casket had been laid to rest there in the Chagres decades earlier. It was someone named Charles Baxter. His date of death is listed the same as the finding of the casket. But unable to find more info on this person.

 BAXTER, Charles, Death: 26-June-1954, Plot K, Row 15, Grave 12, Charles Baxter's remains were found in an iron casket in Panama on June 26, 1954. He was buried at the Corozal American Cemetery.

and now for the kicker....  or as Paul Harvey used to say, "the rest of the story"....  Frederic Berest, who is in the picture as having found the casket, lived in Panama for years and was also laid to rest at Corozal Cemetery.  His name is on the same webpage.  

BEREST, Frederic Joseph, Death: 8-March-1991, Plot H, Row 3, Grave 8, Frederic Joseph Berest was born in New York City on November 2, 1910. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a Technician, Fourth Class with the 632nd Special Service Platoon during World War II. After the war he moved to Panama married and lived at Los Andes, Panama. He died on March 8, 1991 at the Centro Medico Paitilla, Panama and was buried at the Corozal American Cemetery.

So, when Berest and his colleague found this casket, the were able to ID  the occupant some how, but that is all we know at this point.  How ironic that they put Iron Casket man Baxter in Corozal Cemetary and Berest was later buried there too.  When they buried Baxter, they used the date they found the Iron Casket, but when did Baxter really die, how and how did his body and casket end up at the mouth of the Chagres River?  

Thank you Pedro


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