The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that Army Cpl. Stephen P. Nemec, 21, of Cleveland, Ohio, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on July 13, 2018.
(This identification was initially announced on Feb. 25, 2019.)
In late 1950, Nemec was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, engaged in heavy fighting against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) at Turtle Head’s Bend, near the village of Unsan, North Korea. According to historical reports, Nemec was killed in action on Nov. 2, 1950, and was buried at United Nation’s Military Cemetery (UNMC) Pyongyang. As the United Nations’ situation in North Korea worsened, circumstances forced the closing of the cemetery on Dec. 3, 1950, and those buried there could not be recovered.
Following the war, during the exchange of war dead 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, POW camp cemeteries and temporary UN cemeteries, including UNMC Pyongyang. The remains were turned over to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan.
No remains could be associated with Nemec, and all unidentified remains, including a set designated “X-16718” were interred as Korean War unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
On March 26, 2018, DPAA disinterred “X-16718” from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.
To identify Nemec’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, 7,663 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. Nemec’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 family contact information, contact the Army Service Casualty office (800) 892-2490.
Nemec will be buried July 2, 2019, in New Bern, North Carolina.
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.
Nemec’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000001EhJQdEAN