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 Pfc. Kenneth R. Miller, 23, of East Cleveland, Ohio, will be buried April 21 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. On April 23, 1951, Miller was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, when his unit was forced to withdraw from their position while fighting the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF). Miller was reported missing in action following the withdrawal.
The Army Graves Registration Service attempted to account for the losses suffered during the battle, but searches yielded no results for Miller.
Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Miller died while in captivity at POW Camp 1, Changsong, North Korea in September 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared Miller deceased as of Sept. 22, 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-14138 were exhumed on August 20, 2015, so further analysis could be conducted.
To identify Miller’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used anthropological, dental and chest radiograph comparison analysis; mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched an uncle and a cousin; as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
Today, 7,754 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.