News Releases

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For (McMillian)

16-008 | March 18, 2016

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Raymond K. McMillian, 20, of Axton, Virginia, will be buried March 26 in Martinsville, Virginia. On Feb. 5, 1951, McMillian was assigned to Medical Company, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, which was supporting the South Korean Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the area known as the Central Corridor in South Korea. The CPVF launched a counterattack, overrunning neighboring units, which left the 38th Infantry Regiment behind enemy lines. As the unit conducted a fighting withdrawal south to Wonju, McMillian went missing near Hoengsong while assisting the wounded and was reported missing in action on Feb. 12, 1951.

In June 1951, North Koreans claimed through a propaganda broadcast that McMillian had been captured. His remains were not located after the CPVF units withdrew north in March 1951, nor by the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service during organized searches in 1953.

In August 1953, McMillian’s family was notified that his name was on a list of Americans who died while in CPVF custody. However, repatriated Americans were unable to provide any information on McMillian, and his remains were not returned during Operation Glory in 1954. Based on the lack of information regarding McMillian, the U.S. Army declared him dead on Feb. 19, 1954.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea, account for the remains of at least 600 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area where personnel captured with McMillian were believed to have died.

Additionally, on Aug. 10, 2000, during a Joint Recovery Operation, remains were recovered in Kujang, North Korea, from an alleged North Korean burial site.

To identify McMillian’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence; dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis; and DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA, which matched two maternal cousins.

Today, 7,820 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.

Today, 7,820 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.