The 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. Homer R. Abney, 24, of Dallas, will be buried April 7 in his hometown. In late November, 1950, Abney was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in North Korea. By the early morning of Nov. 30, the road from Kunu-ri to Sunch’on was heavily fortified with a series of enemy roadblocks, later named “The Gauntlet.” The regiment sustained more casualties than any other unit during the battle, and it was following that battle that Abney was declared missing.
The CPVF and North Korean People’s Army periodically provided lists of prisoners of war during the war, but none listed Abney. Following the war, three returning American prisoners reported that Abney died at Hofong Camp in March 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of March 31, 1951.
In April and May 2005, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) and Korea People’s Army Recovery Team, conducted the 37th Joint Field Activity, visiting a site near Pukchin-Tarigol Prisoner of war camp. Possible human remains were found, but the condition of the site indicated it was a second burial site.
To identify Abney’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched a sister and maternal niece, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,757 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American recovery 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.