The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. John Lane, Jr., 18, of El Monte, California, will be buried July 17 in Mountain Home, Tennessee. In late July 1950, Lane was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, when the Korean People’s Army attacked the city of Chinju, South Korea. The regiment set up defensive positions before withdrawing east to regroup. Upon arrival south of Masan the battalion began accounting for its soldiers and when Lane could not be accounted for, he was reported missing in action as of July 31, 1950.
Following the war, no lists provided by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces or KPA listed Lane as a prisoner of war. Additionally, no returning American prisoners of war were able to provide any information regarding Lane’s whereabouts. Due to the lack of information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Dec. 31, 1953.
In 1987 Chinju government employees recovered remains believed to be American while moving graves from an old cemetery for construction purposes. The remains were sent to the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii and accessioned into the laboratory in June 1987.
Upon examination of the remains, it was concluded that there were two individuals. One set was identified in October 1987 as a soldier known to be missing in action in the vicinity of Chinju, the last known location of Lane.
To identify Lane’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, including dental and chest radiograph comparison, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA, which matched a niece and grand-nephew.
DPAA is appreciative to the South Korean government for their assistance in this recovery.
Today, 7,741 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using advances in technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American teams.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420.