Press Release | June 13, 2014

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For (Aguilar)

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, were recently identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Lucio R. Aguilar, 19, of Brownsville, Texas, will be buried June 13, in Corpus Christi, Texas. On the night of Nov. 27, 1950, elements of the 25th Infantry Division (ID) and 35th Infantry Regiment (IR) established a defensive position at Yongsan-dong, North Korea, about 10 miles north of the Ch’ongch’on River, when Chinese forces attacked their position. Due to extensive losses and casualties, Augilar’s unit began a fighting withdrawal. On Nov. 28, 1950, Augilar was reported missing in action.

When no further information pertaining to Aguilar was received and he failed to return to U.S. control during prisoner exchanges, Operation Glory and Operation Big Switch, a military review board changed his status from missing in action to presumed dead on Dec. 31, 1953. In 1956, his remains were declared unrecoverable.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain 350 - 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Aguliar was believed to have died.

In the identification of Aguilar’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and Armed Forces DNA Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as mitochondrial DNA, which matched his maternal-line sister and nephew.

Today, 7,883 Americans 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 Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1169.