Oct. 14, 2016 —
Army Cpl. Melvin R. Hill, killed in the Korean War, has now been accounted for.
In late November 1950, Hill was one of 2,500 U.S. and 700 Republic of Korea soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team on the east side of the Chosin River. On the night of Nov. 27, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force surrounded the 31st RCT and attacked. Continued attacks over subsequent days forced Americans to withdraw. By Dec. 6, 1950, approximately 1,500 wounded soldiers were evacuated, and the remaining had been either captured or killed. Hill was reported missing in action as a result of the battles.
Hill’s name did not appear on any list as a prisoner of war and no repatriated Americans could provide any information concerning Hill. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared Hill deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.
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, included 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 Hill was believed to have died.
Lab analysis, in conjunction with the totality of circumstantial evidence available, established Hill's remains were included.
Interment services are pending.