The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold P. Haugland, 22, of Belgrade, Montana, will be buried June 17 in Bozeman, Montana. In late November, 1950, Haugland was a member of Company D, 15th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By early December, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Haugland could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 2, 1950.
Haugland’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no returning American POWs reported him as a prisoner of war. The U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.
Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service planned to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Haugland’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.
During the 36th Joint Recovery Operation in 2004, recovery teams conducted operations on the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir, in the vicinity of Twikkae Village, North Korea, based on information provided by a Korean witness. During the excavation, the recovery team recovered possible human remains of at least five individuals.
To identify Haugland’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA, which matched two brothers.
Today, 7,745 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.