The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. George L. Spangenberg, 30, of Pittsburgh, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on Aug. 14, 2018.
In November 1950, Spangenberg was a member of Company E, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950 following a battle in Unsan, North Korea. Spangenberg’s name was never included on lists of American Soldiers being held as prisoners of war by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) or the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF,) and no returned American prisoners of war had any information on his status.
On Dec. 31, 1953, based on a lack of information regarding his status, Spangenberg was declared deceased. In January 1956, he was declared non-recoverable.
On Oct. 17, 1997, a joint KPA and U.S. recovery team recovered material evidence and possible remains of a U.S. serviceman, west of the town of Unsan, North Korea. The site is an area where Spangenberg’s regiment sustained heavy losses in early November, 1950. The recovered remains were sent to DPAA for identification.
To identify Spangenberg’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA remains fully prepared to resume recovery operations in the Democratic 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, 7,674 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. Spangenberg’s name is recorded at 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 family contact information, contact the Army Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.
Spangenberg will be buried May 16, 2019, in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.
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.
Spangenberg’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt00000004o2sEAA