The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. Willie Rowe, 22, of Hampton, Virginia, will be buried August 8 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In late November 1950, Rowe was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was ordered to advance north towards the Ch’ongch’on River region of North Korea, as part of preparations for an offensive to push the North Koreans to the Yala River. By the night of November 25, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) had begun relentless attacks which continued throughout the night and into the next morning. After the battle, it was determined that Rowe became Missing in Action on Nov. 25, 1950.
Following the war, four returning American prisoners reported Rowe died at the Hofong Camp, part of the Pukchin-Tarigol Camp Cluster in January 1951. Based on that information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Jan. 20, 1951.
In May 2005 the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (a predecessor to DPAA) Central Identification laboratory received and accessioned recovered remains from a site south of the Pukchin-Tarigol POW Camp Cluster. Currently, 11 individuals recovered from the site have been identified.
To identify Rowe’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched his family members.
Today, 7,740 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. Rowe’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
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.