The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Master Sgt. Ira V. Miss, Jr., 23, of Frederick, Maryland, will be buried February 8 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On February 5, 1951, Miss was a member of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, supporting South Korea against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the area known as the Central Corridor in South Korea. The CPVF launched a counterattack with overwhelming numbers, forcing South Korean units to withdraw, and leaving U.S. Army units behind enemy lines. Miss was reported missing in action on Feb. 13, 1951, after Chinese Communist Forces overran the roadblock he was manning.
The Army Graves Registration Service attempted to account for the losses suffered during the battle, but searches yielded no results for Miss.
Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Miss died while in captivity at POW Camp 1, Changsong, North Korea in May or June 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared Miss deceased as of June 1, 1951.
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. The remains they were unable to identify were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”
In 1999, due to advances in technology, the Department of Defense began to re-examine records and concluded that the possibility for identification of some of these unknowns now existed. The remains designated X-14124 were exhumed on May 18, 2015, so further analysis could be conducted.
To identify Miss’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used anthropological, dental and chest radiograph comparison analysis; mitochondrial DNA analysis, using the Next Generation Sequence technique, which matched a niece and a sister; as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
Today, 7,763 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using advances in technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American 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.