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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 Sgt. Donald D. Noehren, 23, of Harlan, Iowa, will be buried April 3 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In late November 1950, Noehren was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in North Korea, in a delaying action south from the Ch’ongch’on River to Kunu-ri. The unit was ordered to withdraw, and encountered a number of heavily defended enemy roadblocks, continuous enemy mortar, small arms and machine-gun fire. Many soldiers, including Noehren, were captured. He was declared missing in action as of Nov. 30, 1950.
Noehren’s name did not appear on any POW list provided by the CPVF or the North Korean People’s Army, however two repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Noehren died at Hofong Camp, part of Pukchin-Tarigol Camp Cluster, on Jan. 22, 1951. Based on this information, a military review board amended Noehren’s status to deceased in 1951.
In April and May of 2005, a Joint Recovery Team conducted the 37th Joint Field Activity in Unsan County, South Pyongan Province, North Korea. On April 19, the team visited a site reported by a local witness to contain American remains.
To identify Noehren’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched a brother, sister and nephew, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,757 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.