The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Walter W. Green, 18, of Zanesville, Ohio, accounted for on Aug. 8, 2017, will be buried July 20 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In November 1950, Green was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, participating in combat actions against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea. Green was reported missing in action as of Nov. 2, 1950 when he could not be accounted for by his unit.
Following the war, during an operation known as “Operation Big Switch,” when prisoners of war were returned, returning Americans from Pyoktong Camp 5 reported that Green had been captured and died while at POW Camp 5. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on June 30, 1951.
Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service planned to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Green’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.
In September 1954, a set of remains received from North Korea and reportedly recovered from the Pyoktong Cemetery were returned and designated Evacuation (Evac) N-14413 by the Central Identification Laboratory (CIU-Kokura). However, the remains could not be identified and were interred as Unknown X-14413 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
In November 1998, the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii recommended the disinterment of 15 unknowns, including X-14413. The remains were disinterred on January 31, 2001 and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
To identify Green’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, laboratory analysis, including dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison, as well as circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,699 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. Green’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the NMCP, along with other MIAs 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.