The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Marine Corps Pfc. Roger Gonzales, 20, of San Pedro, California, accounted for on June 4, 2018, will be buried Sept. 21 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. In late November, 1950, Gonzales was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. The U.S. X Corps began earnest operations in the northeast of the Korean Peninsula against enemy units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPFV), which were thought to be soldiers of the Korean People’s Army (KPA). The X Corps began its offensive, spearheaded by the 1st Marine Division and the U.S. Army’s 31st Regimental Combat Team, in the area of the Chosin Reservoir. On Nov. 27, 1950, Gonzales’ unit moved northwest from Hagru-ri to Fox Hill at the Toktong Pass. In the early hours of November 28, the CPVF attacked and Gonzales’ company sustained heavy casualties. Gonzales was reported to have been killed in action on Nov. 29, 1950, and was buried at the base of Fox Hill.
On Sept. 10, 1954, the KPA returned a shipment of 25 sets of remains that had reportedly been recovered from the west side of the Chosin Reservoir. The remains were shipped to the Central Identification Unit Kokura in Japan, for identification. One set of remains, designated X-15010 was declared unidentifiable and was interred as an “Unknown” in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
In June 2016, after further analysis of historical and biological information relating to X-15010 DPAA disinterred the unknown X-file from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the lab for identification.
To identify Gonzales’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), DNA analysis, dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,683 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. Gonzales’ name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing 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) 699-1420/1169.
Gonzales’ personal profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000001ZlGYEA0