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The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Maj. Jack D. Griffiths, 31, of San Diego, will be buried January 11 in San Diego. On Nov. 30, 1950, Griffiths was a member of Headquarters, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action in the vicinity of Somin-dong, North Korea.
Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Griffiths died and was buried at Camp 5, Pyoktong, North Korea. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared Griffiths deceased.
In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis. A set of remains designated as X-14411 were unable to be identified and were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”
In November 2013, the grave where X-14411 was buried was exhumed and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
To identify Griffith’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used Next Generation Sequencing DNA analysis, which matched two sisters and a brother, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,764 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.
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.