The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced 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 Master Sgt. Leonard K. Chinn, 34, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, accounted for on July 12, will be buried Sept. 19, 2018 in Silver Creek, Nebraska. In late 1950, Chinn was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting off persistent Chinese attacks in North Korea. Chinn was reportedly captured by enemy forces on Dec. 1, 1950, and was held at several temporary prisoner of war camps before being marched northwest to POW Camp 5 Complex, North Korea.
Several repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Chinn died April 5, 1951 in Camp 5.
On Dec. 14, 1993, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 33 boxes of remains of servicemen who had died during the Korean War. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where POWs from Chinn’s unit were believed to have died.
To identify Chinn’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, as well as anthropological analysis, and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the government and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and looks forward to the continued fulfillment of the commitment made by President Trump and Chairman Kim on the return and recovery of U.S. service members in North Korea.
Today, 7,683 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. Chinn’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) 699-1420/1169.
Chinn’s personnel profile can be viewed at