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. Glen E. Kritzwiser, 19, of Piketon, Ohio, will be buried August 3 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. In early February 1951, Kritzwiser was a member of Battery C, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when American units began supporting of the 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. The support group, known as SF21, provided artillery fire support for the South Koreans during its attack north on Hongch’on. On the evening of Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive causing the South Koreans to withdraw, leaving Kritzwiser’s 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. Kritzwiser was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951 when he did not arrive to report in Wonju.
Several returning American prisoners of war reported that Kritzwiser had been captured by the CPVF and died in July 1951 while being held at Camp #3, a prisoner of war camp near Changsong, North Korea. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of July 2, 1951.
In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis.
On Sept. 7, 1954, a set of remains reportedly recovered from a prisoner of war cemetery at Camp 1 and 3, Changsong, North Korea, were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan, for attempted identification. The set of remains was designated “X-14248” and was transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu and interred as a Korean War Unknown.
After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-14248 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, X-14248 was disinterred on Jan. 7, 2017 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
To identify Kritzwiser’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, which matched his records, as well as 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. Kritzwiser’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
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.