The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted-for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Edward L. Borders, 20, of Harrisburg, Illinois, will be buried July 29 in his hometown. In early February 1951, Borders was a member of D Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons), 2nd Infantry Division, when American units began supporting South Korean Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. D Battery was part of a group known as Support Force 21 (SF21) and provided artillery fire support for the South Korean Army during its attack north on Hongch’on. On the evening of Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive against the South Koreans, who were forced to withdraw, leaving Borders’ unit and the rest of SF21 behind at Changbong-ni. The SF 21 marched south along Route 29, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, to Hoengsong and eventually to the city of Wonju. Borders was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951 when he did not report with his unit in Wonju.
A list provided by the CPVF and Korean People’s Army (KPA) on Dec. 26, 1951, reported Borders died while a prisoner of war. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Feb. 3, 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 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. Of the 208 boxes, 14 were reported to have been recovered from Ryongpho-ri, Suan County, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea. This village is believed to be in close proximity to the Suan Bean Camp, part of the Suan Prisoner of War Camp Complex, which was a temporary holding area for a large number of soldiers captured by the CPVF during the war.
To identify Borders’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mtDNA, Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-SYR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,740 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.