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The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted-for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Sgt. Stafford L. Morris, 24, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, will be buried August 5 in Atlanta. In late November 1950, Morris was a member of Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, which was located north of the town of Kujang-dong, North Korea. Due to heavy fighting and encroaching Chinese People's Volunteer Force elements from the north, American units were forced to withdraw south through an area that came to be known as "The Gauntlet." On Dec. 1, the battalion began to move down the supply route, under continuous enemy fire. The unit sustained heavy casualties during the withdrawal.
Multiple returning American POWs reported that Morris had been captured near Kunu-ri, North Korea and had died at Hofong Camp, part of Pukchin-Tarigol Camp Cluster, on Jan. 21, 1951. Based on this information, a military review board amended his status to deceased.
In April and May 2005, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA), and a Korean People's Army Recovery Team conducted the 37th Joint Field Activity in Unsan County, North Korea. A site approximately 12 miles south of Pukchin-Tarigol camp was excavated, and human remains were recovered.
To identify Morris’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,737 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. Morris’ 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.