Press Release | Nov. 19, 2018

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Martin, J.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from the Korean War, are those of Army Pfc. John W. Martin, 23, of Saratoga, New York. Martin was accounted for on Sept. 24, 2018.

In late November 1950, Martin was a member of Medical Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. As the Chinese attacks continued, American forces withdrew south. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured, killed or missing in enemy territory. Martin was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, after he was last seen near the Chosin Reservoir.

Martin’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists, and no returning prisoners of war reported that he had been captured. Based on this information, he was declared deceased as of Dec. 31, 1951. In 1956, his remains were declared non-recoverable.

In September 2001, during the 25th Joint Recovery Operation, a burial site located at the Chosin Reservoir, in the vicinity of where Martin’s unit fought during the war, was excavated. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Martin’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the government and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and looks forward to the continued fulfillment of the commitment made by President Trump and Chairman Kim on the return and recovery of U.S. service members in North Korea.

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. Martin’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing 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 information on funeral services, contact the Army Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.

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, find us on social media at or call (703) 699-1420/1169.

Martin’s personnel profile can be viewed at