The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, accounted-for from the Korean War, are those of Marine Corps Sgt. Meredith F. Keirn, 24, of Niagara Falls, New York. Keirn was accounted for on May 22, 2018.
In late November, 1950, Keirn was a light machinegun section leader for Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was reported to have been killed Nov. 30, 1950 while defending a hill overlooking the Toktong Pass, a critical main supply route between the villages of Hagaru-ri and Yudam-ni, North Korea. His remains were reportedly buried at the base of “Fox Hill,” in the Toktong Pass, but they could not be recovered following the war.
In August 2015, a South Korean citizen turned over remains believed to be U.S. servicemen from the Korean War. The remains were turned over to the U.S. Forces Korea Mortuary Affairs Office in Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, South Korea, which were subsequently turned over to DPAA.
To identify Keirn’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Next Generation Sequencing and mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, anthropological analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,675 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. Keirn’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with 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 family contact information, contact the Marine Corps Casualty Office at (800) 847-1597.
Keirn will be buried Aug. 8, 2019, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.
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.
Keirn’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000000jNPNKEA4