The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced 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 Cpl. Francisco Ramos-Rivera, 33, of Puerto Rico, accounted for on July 12, will be buried November 29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In July 1950, Ramos-Rivera was a member of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against North Korean forces near Taejon, South Korea. After U.S. forces regrouped after their evacuation of Taejon, Ramos-Rivera could not be accounted-for and was declared missing in action on July 20, 1950.
In December 1953, based on a lack of information regarding his status, Ramos-Rivera was declared deceased. In January 1956, he was declared non-recoverable.
In February 1951, several sets of remains were found in the vicinity of the village of Kujong-ri, South Korea, in an area corresponding to where Ramos-Rivera’s regiment withdrew from battle. One set of remains, designated X-453 Tanggok, could not be identified. In May 1955, X-453 Tanggok was declared unidentifiable and was buried as an Unknown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
In August 2017, Unknown X-453 was disinterred from the Punchbowl and sent to the laboratory for identification.
To identify Ramos-Rivera’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.
Today, 7,675 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. Although interred as an Unknown Ramos-Rivera’s grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the ABMC. Ramos-Rivera’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) 699-1420/1169.
Ramos-Rivera’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000000DtbXREAZ