The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. Julius E. McKinney, 23, of Clay, Arkansas, accounted for on March 5, will be buried June 8 in Corinth, Mississippi. In late November 1950, McKinney was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. As the Chinese attacks continued, American forces withdrew south. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured, killed or missing in enemy territory. McKinney was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, after he was last seen on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir.
McKinney’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no returning Americans reported McKinney as a prisoner of war. Due to the prolonged lack of evidence, the U.S. Army declared him non-recoverable on Jan. 16, 1956.
During the 36th Joint Recovery Operation in September and October 2004, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, (a predecessor to DPAA) Recovery Team 2, conducted recovery operations with elements of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir. A secondary burial site was excavated in the vicinity of Twikkae Village, Changjin County. The remains of at least five individuals were accessioned to the Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu.
To identify McKinney’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched his family, anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and material evidence.
Today, 7,702 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. McKinney’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing 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) 699-1420/1169.