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The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. William F. Day, 25, of Hayward, Calif., will be buried April 7, in La Center, Ky. In late November 1950, Day was assigned to Company C, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT). The 31st RCT was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. On Nov. 29, 1950, remnants of the 31st RCT, known historically as Task Force Faith, began a fighting withdrawal to more defensible positions near Hagaru-ri, south of the reservoir. On Dec. 2, 1950, Day was reported as missing in action.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain 350 - 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. Preliminary analysis of the remains contained in the 208 boxes turned over by the North Koreans revealed them to be heavily commingled.
To identify Day’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used forensic identification tools such as mitochondrial DNA, which matched Day’s maternal-line brother and niece, Y-STR DNA Analysis, which matched Day’s paternal-line brother and au-STR DNA analysis, which matched his brother and daughter. Dental and radiograph comparisons, which matched Day’s records, were also used in his identification.
Today, 7,888 Americans service members remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American teams.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.