The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Dow F. Worden, 20, of Boardman, Oregon, accounted for on July 24, 2017, will be buried March 27 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In late September 1951, Worden was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, which was in the vicinity of Hill 1024 in South Korea, conducting operations near an area known as Heartbreak Ridge. In the early morning hours, the Chinese launched a probing attack against Worden’s company, on the forward slope of Hill 1024. The company repelled the attacks and was relieved by the Republic of Korea Army elements and ordered to move east and attack the enemy on nearby Hill 867. American forces withdrew from the offensive after a large barrage of enemy mortar fire. After the battle, Worden could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action on Sept. 28, 1951.
Worden’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no returning American prisoners reported Worden as a prisoner of war. Due to the prolonged lack of evidence, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Dec. 31, 1953.
In February and May 2016, South Korea turned over remains believed to be unaccounted-for U.S. servicemen from the Korean War. The remains were recovered from an area associated with the Heartbreak Ridge battles, and were sent to the laboratory for analysis
To identify Worden’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the South Korean government for their assistance in this recovery.
Today, 7,709 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. Worden’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. 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.