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. Alva C. Groves, 18, of Four States, W.Va., will be buried Aug. 7, in Prunytown, W. Va. In November 1950, Groves was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment (IR), 2nd Infantry Division (ID), when his unit was attacked by a vast number of Chinese forces while occupying a defensive position northeast of the village of Kujang, North Korea. On Nov. 25, 1950, Groves’ unit consolidated its defensive lines and continued its withdrawal east. Groves was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950.
On Aug. 8, 1953, Chinese forces reported that Groves was captured during the battle and died on April 14, 1951, from tubercular peritonitis in a prisoner of war camp in Pyokdong, North Korea.
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 a North Korean prisoner of war camp in Pyokdong, where Groves was believed to have died.
To identify Groves’ remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including mitochondrial DNA.
Today, 7,882 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 www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.