The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pvt. Delbert J. Holliday, 22, of Minneapolis, accounted for on July 12, 2018, will be buried October 15 in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minnesota. In November 1950, Holliday was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 7th Cavalry Division, participating in combat actions against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of South Pyongan Province, North Korea. Holliday was killed in action on Nov. 30, 1950 and was reportedly buried in the United Nations Military Cemetery (UNMC) Pyongyang. As the United Nations’ situation with North Korea worsened, circumstances forced the closure of UNMC Pyongyang on Dec. 3, 1950, and buried remains could not be recovered.
Following the war, during an operation known as “Operation Glory,” UN forces returned approximately 14,000 sets of remains to the Chinese and North Koreans, and received more than 4,000 sets of remains from isolated burials, prisoner of war camp cemeteries and temporary UN cemeteries, including UNMC Pyongyang. The received remains were turned over to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan.
None of the returned remains could be associated with Holliday’s, and all unidentified remains, including a set designated “X-16970 OPGLORY” were interred as Korean War unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
On April 19, 2018, DPAA disinterred “X-16970 OPGLORY” from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for identification.
To identify Holliday’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological, and chest radiograph comparison analysis which; as well as circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.
Today, 7,677 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. Holliday’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the other MIAs 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.
Holliday’s personnel profile can be viewed at