The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently identified after being captured and killed during the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Alfred G. Bensinger, Jr., of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will be buried February 16 in the Fort Sill National Cemetery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In late November 1950, Bensinger was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion (2nd ECB) 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting persistent Chinese attacks in the Ch’ongch’on River area in northwestern North Korea. The battle began on the evening of Nov. 25, 1950, when the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces initiated their Second Phase offensive along the entire 8th Army front. Bensinger’s battalion was heavily engaged in the battle. When withdrawal orders were issued on November 29, the 2nd ECB provided security for the Division. The following day, the battalion was ordered to withdraw from the vicinity of Kunu-ri, when it was again engaged by enemy forces down the Main Supply Route. During this withdrawal, Bensinger was captured.
Several returning American POWs reported that Bensinger died at the prisoner of war transient camp known as the Hofong Camp, a sub-camp of the Pukchin-Tarigol Main Camp Cluster in mid-January 1951.
In April 2005, a DPAA/Korean People’s Army Recovery Team recovered remains from a site south of Unsan. The remains included 32 different individuals, and appeared to have originated from a previous burial site. The remains were then sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
To identify Bensinger’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,710 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. Bensinger’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, 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.